Over six years ago, in December 1989, I was looking for a "hobby" programming project that would keep me occupied during the week around Christmas. My office (a government-run research lab in Amsterdam) would be closed, but I had a home computer, and not much else on my hands. I decided to write an interpreter for the new scripting language I had been thinking about lately: a descendant of ABC that would appeal to Unix/C hackers. I chose Python as a working title for the project, being in a slightly irreverent mood (and a big fan of Monty Python's Flying Circus).
Today, I can safely say that Python has changed my life. I have moved to a different continent. I spend my working days developing large systems in Python, when I'm not hacking on Python or answering Python-related email. There are Python T-shirts, workshops, mailing lists, a newsgroup, and now a book. Frankly, my only unfulfilled wish is to have my picture on the front page of the New York Times.
-- Guido van Rossum, Foreword for "Programming Python", Reston, VA, May 1996