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Binding python to v8
Google's v8 virtual machine (part of Chrome) is really great, from a virtual-machine-implementer's perspective. It would be a fantastic backend for Python, because of the way that object mutation and method dispatch is handled. I thought of hacking together a proof-of-concept, but decided that my work at OLPC wasn't really benefited by my going off to spend a year writing a fast Python runtime.

Luckily, I don't have to: pyv8 is a proof-of-concept implementation of just such a thing! And it's ten times faster than standard interpreted Python -- although it should be noted that this is for a strictly toy benchmark.

What's missing is bypassing pyjamas and working directly from python bytecode, and a better attempt at providing python standard library support. Hopefully other bright minds are hard at work on this!
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Another possibility would be a PyPy backend. Someone actually did write a Javascript backend for PyPy, but if you could write bytecode directly that would be far preferable of course. PyPy does have support for different backends, but none of them are really actively maintained as far as I know except for LLVM (but I haven't paid attention for a year, so that might have changed).

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