Site seems to be down (PDF posted above) but the link to the lessons is a good link to keep handy.
Link to class: http://code.google.com/edu/languages/google-python-class/int...
Link to video 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKTZoB2Vjuk
I've shared it with many who were starting to program and they have proved to be very helpful in understanding, not only python but some of the basics of programming and what can be done with it.
You won't miss much if you skip the article entirely. That said, the material it links to seems pretty good. I've been trying to learn Python lately and working through the interpreter at first seems to be a good way to get a sense of how Python does things. And there are some neat libraries out there. For example, you're not much more than a "from pygr import worldbase" away from wandering through the human (or mouse, or yeast...) genome if you want to. That said, I still need to set up a proper vim config for Python.