As a simple for-fun ritual when I learn a new language I like to create a simple very basic application that has some 2D balls (spheres if you prefer) bouncing on the screen and then I would mess with settings and effects, fairly basic stuff. It's not really all that exciting but its fun to write and covers enough things to help you get a decent start with the language.
See it in action here Note, you will need a browser that is capable of handling <canvasso in other words - not Internet Explorer 6. Also I'm afraid the size is fixed so it wont look nice on small resolutions.
I remember when I wrote this my computer wasn't fast enough to render it very smoothly and the only browser it worked on was FireFox (and probably Safari but I didn't, and still don't, have a mac). I'm glad to see how much the browser landscape has changed since then.
I've totally lost the perl implementation - I think I probably left it on a university computer somewhere. I've got the VB6 code but I don't have visual studio (installed) anymore and I don't have a floppy drive to access it!
My Python version, well I think I might do that later if I have time. I've done very little GUI code with Python so it would make for a fun exercise.
I find it interesting that as programmers we can often find our way around an unfamiliar language enough to get things working but generally you don't take advantage of that languages features.
Quite frankly most of the code is rubbish but thats one of the ways you learn! Given the task now I would use jQuery and might consider using some HTML5 or CSS3 features. That actually sounds quite fun - I sense a mini project coming up.