Python must be the easiest introduction to programming. as it is very human readable and quickly executable. I started off with Learn Python the Hardway by Zed Shaw. His teaching style is different from the approach of traditional textbooks in which he does a short example and explanation of the chapter and has you run through the exercises and have you investigate why certain results appear. This is the hard way - through self investigation rather than being fed information directly. I highly recommend anyone interested in programming to start with Python.
So why Java? Java is the language used to build Android applications as well as many other devices out in the world. I started to work on my own app, but I still have a long way to go to make more complex and powerful apps. Now that I've taken up plenty of time stalling on studying by writing this post, off to make some coffee to pick up where I left off.