I feel a new obsession coming on. I am trying to keep it at bay. It is a monk called
Athanasius Kircher who lived in the seventeenth century. According to this very interesting article
in the Chronicle of Higher Education, his most elegant invention was a sunflower clock. He placed a potted sunflower in a tub of water and then stuck a needle in its stem. As the sunflower followed the sun the position of the needle would move and point to the relevant hour on the scale on the outside of the tub.