in reply to Favorite programming language, other than Perl:
I have only used a few languages over my short career and after Perl, Java has to be my favourite, it is the teaching language of my university's CS department, but that never put me off. I can't choose a worst between Object Pascal and Visual Basic, thankfully I haven't had to do too much with them. Object Pascal has your cartesian products, but is not Huffman coded and has other unsightly syntax features. Visual Basic is easy to get things going in but was so unintuitive for me, even though I loved my Commodore 64 BASIC. I never wrote anything useful for my C64, but I loved drawing my own sprites and peeking and poking that 64K of RAM. Now the sound chip is bust, but I have an emulator for when I need a quick classic game.
I have a wiry brain/each eye a camera. Robot Tourist, by Ten Benson