Category: Humour

Why are there so many countries named Guinea?

This is part of my book 2020 Mint-Fresh Jokes For Everyone. A total of 520 jokes or one-fourth of the book is complete.

There are three countries in Africa with the word Guinea in the name – Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea. There is one country in Oceania that Guinea in its name and that is Papua New Guinea. There is a country in South America named Guyana but that name is significantly different from the afore mentioned four. The old British coin guinea, the gold standard, was worth 21 shillings (one pound and one shilling) or 1.05 pounds (one pound and five cents). The gold to make it came from the Gold Coast of Africa on the Gulf of Guinea, now in the country of Ghana. The origin of the name Guinea probably lies in the Portuguese word for black people.

  • Guinea, in West Africa, was formerly known as French Guinea.
  • Guinea-Bissau, in West Africa, was formerly known as Portuguese Guinea.
  • Equatorial Guinea, also in West Africa, was formerly known as Spanish Guinea.
  • Papua New Guinea, the eastern part of the dinosaur-shaped New Guinea island in Oceania, was formerly known as British Guinea and is now an independent country. (West Papua, the western part of the New Guinea island, is now administered by Indonesia.) The island was named New Guinea by the Spanish based on the similarities of the natives with those on the African Guinea coast.

Countries with Guinea in their name

Sub-par jokes that could not make it to the “2020 Mint-Fresh Jokes” book

This post will be updated frequently over the next year.

Like jewellery-making, joke writing incurs some unavoidable wastage. These jokes needed a home. My 2020 Mint-Fresh Jokes For Everyone book could not take it. Here it is.

  • Uranus walks into a bar
    Uranus walks into a bar and immediately he is the butt of his friends’ jokes.
  • Why did the female dung beetle refuse to go out with the male dung beetle?
    She is bat-???? crazy.
    • Like in English, you can make really silly mistakes when writing French.
      funny brassier joke
    • A nudist walks into a topless bar
      A nudist walks into a topless bar but the bartender stops him, “Sorry, customers are not allowed to bare themselves.”
  • UPDATE (520 Jokes complete):
    • This joke is unsuitable for kids as it refers to certain body processes.

Excerpts from the book

    • A blonde joke. I know it is wrong to laugh at ones own jokes but this is very clever and makes me smile every time.
      A blonde joke
    • Some others: Under various topics. The Your Highness knock knock jokes is my favorite.
      More jokes from the book
    • Update: Before writing this book, I did not realize I was capable of thinking along these lines.

      Toad joke

      Why did the toad cross the road?

    • Update (220 jokes): The scientific jokes section has been split into Physics Jokes, Chemistry Jokes and Biology Jokes. Some Biology Jokes was moved into a new Medical Jokes category. I am surprised I am able to write jokes like this. Lighter vein… that’s a hoot. The slipped disc joke is clever and may not be understood by everyone.
      Medical Jokes
    • Update (420 jokes complete): Financial Jokes is a category.Superman has no immovable assets.
      Linux trumps Windows as usual.Why so many viruses attack MS Windows
    • Update (1020 jokes complete): Vampires do not form a reflection in mirrors. This can be a problem sometimes.
      Dracula's persona reflecion

      Pyschiatrist asks Dracula to try some personal reflection

      A friend once challenged me along these lines and at that time I had no idea how to approach the problem.

      Whale transport by train

      How to transport a whale by train

    • Update (1120 jokes complete): I saw the 1963 movie Comedy of Terrors starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff. It inspired several jokes about funeral home ads.

The name

My original choice for the book name was “1001 Good Clean Jokes For Everyone.” But, there was already a “1000 jokes” book and a “Good Clean” joke book. There is also a “squeaky-clean” joke book too. I thought of using the “Really Ultimate” nomenclature employed in my website (for the Javascript benchmark, browser-sniffer code and the universal stylesheet). Even that is already usurped by some jokesters. Then, I checked “mint-fresh jokes”, as that is the USP of my book. Almost all the jokes are new and all written by one person. In fact, most of the jokes don’t even exist now. They are going to be written. Fortunately, there are no joke books right now with that name. Unfortunately, that the joke count has doubled.

Web search results for the name

Search results for “mint-fresh jokes” and “mint fresh jokes”

The awful truth about MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) rations or why field kitchens are essential in the military

“Lean the hot pack against a rock or something”

Creating Alpha video about MREs

MREs are not all what they are cracked up to be. It must be galling for US soldiers particularly when they realize that the Taliban is eating mutton curry and biriyani.

The Indian Army units when they are deployed have field kitchens. Although there have been complaints about corruption in supply management, the availability of the equivalent of a home-cooked meal thre times a day has been very satisfactory to our soldiers.

In the US, private business convinced the Department of Defense that the military was in the business of fighting wars and military men should not be engaged in peeling potatoes. It seems like a straightforward idea but is quite disingenuous. Today, private military contractors do not just do catering activities but also perform a lot of logistical and even military operations. The costs of engaging private contractors have become astronomical. A worker of a private contractor is paid several times what the US military would have to pay one of its own soldiers doing the same work.

Apart from meals catered by private contractors, US soldiers also consume a lot of canned food. With the use of plastic packaging, tin cans have been eliminated. Today, MRE meals are cooked like ordinary food, packaged in hermetically sealed plastic bags and then boiled in hot water to kill microbes.

The boiling makes the food safe but it has the disadvantage of destroying texture of the food. Some MRE food items are dried so much (as water is a great substrate for microbes) that it absorbs water from the body when consumed. This clogs up the intestines. Some other MRE articles have the opposite effect.

There are many videos online of people trying out MREs. These videos are civilians. What about military people who have to eat it day after day, particularly when deployed in hostile conditions? Here is one:

I thought this video was a joke but it is real. The hot pack does indeed say it should be leaned against a rock or something. It is a hilarious but sad video.

The closest that most people have come to an MRE is Maggi noodles. I have always found it tasteless but there are many people who are addicted to it. I also found that Singapore banned it because they found that petroleum wax was being used by top noodle brands as one of the additives, probably as a hydrophobic agent.

Indian military labs do research on food too and their food technologies have been transferred to several civilian companies. Among them, MTR has several good MRE items. Maybe they should pitch their products to the US military. As it is now majority owned by Western PE groups, this should not be a problem. The worst Indian MRE would beat the best US MRE because of all the spices we use.

Weird Fins podcast restored on

I used the Weird Fins podcast as one of the built-in RSS feeds in the feed reader of Subhash Browser.

The podcast published on the US government’s NOAA website in 2008. The NOAA revamped their site recently and broke links willy nilly.

I have now saved it on

The newsreader in Subhash Browser displaying the Weird Fins RSS feed
The RSS feed is at

This RSS feed links to the MP3 audio files on and also contains the original transcript and weird fish images of the podcasts.

Dhruv Rathee’s magical power to restore electricity supply

I listen to some Youtube channels such as those of Max Keiser and Dhruv Rathee as audio files rather than watch them as videos. The Youtube-DL program has an option to download them as M4As and use Ffmpeg to convert the audio to media player-friendly MP3 files.

My area suffers from mysterious power cuts several times a day, sometimes even a dozen times a day. It can be as if some monkeys have taken over the controls. (This is totally different from the disturbances in the voltage that made my UPSes (TV & computer), fridge and modem go crazy. I wrote the NetCheck app for Android/Linux/Mac/Windows to combat it. The fridge required a separate voltage stabilizer. Samsung says the fridge has an internal stabilizer, which proved useless against the machinations of the monkeys.)

So, when the power goes out I listen to my DIY boombox, which runs off a 3.7 volt tablet battery. It is not loud but its neodymium magnets ensure that during power cuts houses in the immediate neighborhood can hear it clearly.

One thing I noted was that whenever Rathee audio folder begins to be played, the power gets restored immediately. I have had been able to test this almost every other day over the last few months and I can tell you it has never failed.

Dhruv Rathee publishes videos on very critical issues affecting the nation.

Dhruv has an unknown power – the power to restore electricity!

Cartoon avatars of AJ Styles, Luke Harper & Brock Lesnar created in Inkscape

I have started drawing people (on paper) as they are playing on TV. If they look good, I draw them in Inkscape. This way the amount of time on the computer becomes less.

In this effort, AJ styles came out best. Shades in Brock Lesnar’s face blended indistinguishably when it was downsized.

Surprisingly, there are very few good images of WWE stars on the Net, particularly from the past. All were recent pictures.


Why do ICICI Bank customers use unparliamentary language?

I asked ICICI Bank to change the DOOR NUMBER  in my address but they changed the CITY and STATE as well. Note that the PIN CODE is still in Tamil Nadu. Apparently, there are no  data-validation triggers at the database level or the application level to check the CITY and STATE against the PIN CODE.

ICICI Bank's IT systems do not validate the CITY & State against the PIN CODE.

ICICI Bank’s IT systems do not validate the CITY & State against the PIN CODE. The pin code is in Tamil Nadu while the city is in Karnataka.

Compose option in the web-based mailbox has been removed

I have been a ICICI Bank customer from the time it was formed out of ICICI and then reverse-merged with it. It had the advantage of being formed at the time when the PC and Internet revolution had come to India. Hence, they had Internet-connected IT systems at a time when other government banks were still using big bulky ledgers. (ICICI Bank was a government bank but now FII own most shares.)

For some time in the initial years, they used to have e-mail support. They stopped it citing security threats from e-mail phishing. (The risk of phishing has however not stopped them from sending spammy emails with all kinds of credit card and e-commerce offers on a daily basis.) They also had a a web-based mailbox system on their website. It is now a useless archived system. There is NO COMPOSE option.

ICICI Bank website has a mailbox system but they removed the COMPOSE option.

ICICI Bank website has a mailbox system but sometime back they seem to have removed the COMPOSE option.

Web forms to change address are useless

There is a SERVICE REQUEST option to change communication address but it does not work. The fields are read-only.

ICICI Bank form for changing communication address is read-only.

ICICI Bank form for changing communication address is read-only.

There is a hidden (under More option) SERVICE REQUEST to change the address. It does not work because the Javascript is unable to identify the Branch value.

Address change form does not work either.

Address change form does not work either.

IT systems designed to frustrate customers

Like most private Indian banks, ICICI bank wants to be like foreign banks catering to mostly big networth clients and corporate. But, given their propensity to lend to dubious customers and huge NPAs, they also need to target the mass-market segment. The latter has a downside. The frustrated aam janta will try solve problems in the manner that is best known to him. ICICI bank branches are always crowded. They have a token system. It does not work. By the time you realize it, you have wasted quite a bit of time. Then, there are trainees that are hanging around. You are afraid to talk to them because they will stick you with an offer for a credit card or a loan. The ones manning the counters seem to be extremely overburdened. They are also on the phone all the time.

Don’t put your best behaviour when you are at the branch. You don’t want to wait for them to speak to you because they will not. They computer systems don’t work. The network does not work. Their printers don’t work. Their web pages don’t work. Interns are worse. I once sat with a guy who had a phone in his ear. He would ask me a question and then relay my answer to the guy on the other end of the phone line. The other guy would ask him to ask another question and he will repeat that to me. This went on for quite a while. He spoke softly into the phone as if to hide what was going on. Smooth!

ICICI Bank has a special link in the footer of every page for a page on the USE OF UNPARLIAMENTARY LANGUAGE BY CUSTOMERS.

ICICI Bank has a special link in the footer on its site for a page on the USE OF UNPARLIAMENTARY LANGUAGE BY CUSTOMERS.