Lots of pressure: conference deadline 1st April and I haven't even proven all my results yet. And it's to be coauthored, and my coauthor hasn't any of my new results in over a year. Better get moving...
raph: Very nice post, has got me thinking... Some immediate reactions: not all LISP-like implementations have bad FFIs: in the scheme world guile and scheme->C have good FFIs and scheme48 (my favourite dialect) has a reasonable FFI. I think FFIs in the scheme world are better, on the whole, than in the Common LISP world, but that maybe just my prejudice speaking. Scsh (built on scheme48 and with a forthcoming guile implementation) has excellent IO facilities, maybe the best of any language I know (I know C, Scheme, C++, Java and Python reasonably well).
Dynamic languages need not be inefficient: checkout the papers on soft typing at the Rice repository (especially Matthias Felleisen's papers). The basic idea behind soft typing is that when you apply type inference for reasonable type systems to dynamic languages, most functions are typable. So you only need the run-time overhead of dynamic type dispatch where it is really needed.
Biotechnology: Read this recent Economist book review, I think I will buy the book. I am impressed by the potential of DNA computing (essentially it is engineering with life-like processes). This technology sidesteps the ethical difficulties and ecological dangers associated with mainstream bio-technology, and, it seems to me, it pretty much has all the medical and agricultural potential of bio-technology (eg. DNA machines can produce just the same range of proteins as live DNA, so it seems reasonable to suppose that anything that can be done by splicing genes into organisms can be done by DNA `helpers' living symbiotically inside an untampered with organism). Not heard this thought before, so I thought I'd get it off my chest.
jfleck: Got to say, I've never found a Zippy cartoon funny.