Category Archives: Misc

Did the Apostle Paul like Doughnuts?

Maybe. The early Romans had a version of doughnuts call “globi”, which means balls in Latin. The recipe comes from a Roman soldier, politician and author named Cato the Elder who lived from 234-149 B.C.E. A book of his called De agri cultura  (On Agriculture) has survived down to today and contains some ancient Roman recipes including the one for globi. These little doughnut holes taste like a deep fried cheesy sweet doughnut. These treats are simple to make and could be a fun and delicious treat to enjoy during your family worship. Here is a link to the recipe on a website called A Dollop of History.

Globi: Roman doughnuts recipe

Watching JW.ORG Original Music Videos on an Amazon Echo Show

The JW.ORG skill for Alexa is great for anyone who owns one of the various Amazon Alexa-enabled devices. One of the things I like is the ability to play original songs by simply asking, “Alexa, play original songs from”.

Amazon has an Echo Show line of devices that include video screens. The one thing that the JW.ORG skill for Alexa can’t do yet is play the videos on JW.ORG, such as the music videos for the original songs. I really wanted to be able to do this so I went searching for a solution. I found that the Echo Show has a built in browser that can be used. If you own an Echo Show, here is how you can set it up to watch the music videos for the original songs page on JW.ORG:

  1. Start by telling “Alexa, open the Firefox browser”. This should display the Firefox browser that is built into your Echo Show.
  2. In the search/address bar of the browser enter “” and press GO. This will take you to the JW.ORG website.
  3. On the JW.ORG website you will see a navigation bar in the upper right corner that is an icon with three horizontal lines. Click on the icon, scroll down and select LIBRARY.
  4. Once the LIBRARY page loads, scroll down to the Videos section and select the See All box.
  5. On the Video page scroll down and select Music under the Video Categories.
  6. On the Music page (under Library > Videos) click on the See All box found under Original Songs. This will load the page that has all of the music videos for the original songs.
  7. Now at this point we want to pin this to the Firefox homescreen so we can quickly find this page in the future without having to navigate to it using all of the steps above. To do this you have to use your finger to scroll upwards. This will make the Firefox menu bar appear again. Press the pin icon on the menu bar. This will add the page to the homescreen.
  8. To start playing the music videos select Shuffle under where it says Original Songs. This will randomly select and start playing one of the music videos.
  9. The next step is to make the video play full screen instead of in a box. To do this scroll down a little bit so you can see the bottom of the music video that is playing. Now tap on the video with your finger to make a controls box appear. Press the fullscreen icon (two opposite arrows) on the far right. This will play the videos in fullscreen mode.
  10. You can tap on the screen again while a video is playing to open the controls box again. With the controls you can pause, fast forward, repeat, skip and control the volume.

Once you have done the above it is simple to play the music videos on your Echo Show. Now all you need to do in the future is say “Alexa, open the Firefox browser”. You can then press the shortcut box on the Firefox homescreen that is labeled jw. This will take you to the page with the music videos. From here select Shuffle and then press the fullscreen icon once it starts playing. Its not too hard once you set it up the first time. Hopefully in the future this capability will be added to the JW.ORG skill, but until then the above can enable you to enjoy the music videos on your Echo Show today.

Installing Watchtower Library on a Mac

Over the years there have been several tools and instructions on how to get the Watchtower Library to run on a Mac. Since it is a Windows application it will not run natively without using some sort of Windows emulator that enables a Windows program to run on the Mac.

With the release of the latest macOS, Catalina, a lot of the previous methods to install and run the Watchtower Library on a Mac stopped working. Since I use a Mac I ran into this issue and had to figure out how to get it working again. I have created a separate page showing the steps to install and run the Watchtower Library on a Mac running macOS Catalina. If you need help with this you can find this page here: Installing Watchtower Library on a Mac with macOS Catalina