kdawson from the everything-you-know-is-wrong dept.
Peter writes to tell us about a research group at the University of Sydney in Australia, who in the middle of some calculation wanted to check the numbers everybody uses for the thickness of our galaxy at the core. Using data available freely on the Internet and analyzing it in a spreadsheet, they discovered in a matter of hours that the Milky Way is 12,000 light years thick, vs. the 6,000 that had been the consensus number for some time.
Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without
giant listings; we would find it hard to use them.
-- D.M. Ritchie