Every winter I look out at our icy, snow-covered patio and think, “Next summer I should spend time out on the patio!” But once a windy, chilly spring turns into a hot muggy summer, I don’t actually get out nearly as often as I might. This morning though, it was warm in the early morning, giving me a chance to get out while there was still lots of shade. (I have since pulled most of the weeds visible in the graveled areas.)

I have long imagined a DIY project for a self-adjusting sundial. You put it down on any flat surface and it uses a magnetometer and a small motor to find north and orient itself correctly, and then uses a GPS and another small motor find the latitude and set the angle of the gnomon.

Happily, except for playgrounds, outdoor public spaces are still open where I live.

The outdoors and sunshine are such strong factors in fighting viral infections that a 2009 study of the extraordinary success of outdoor hospitals during the 1918 influenza epidemic suggested that during the next pandemic (I guess this one!) we should encourage “the public to spend as much time outdoors as possible,” as a public-health measure.

Source: Closing the Parks Is Ineffective Pandemic Theater – The Atlantic