Good deeds are good, but having bread on one's table is important, too. So, what's the pay?
I absolutely agree with you. I'm not suggesting that the guy become a full time free software dev. However, I'd argue that working on a FOSS project will look good on a resume AND improve his skills. I'm not so sure that there are many employers out there who are willing to let an older, semi-entry-level developer onto their team.
I wouldn't discount languages like C just yet. They're still hugely important in the kernel world, for example.
As far as newer languages go, there are a lot of F/OSS projects that could use another hand. Have a look at the Bugzilla for various projects and grab the latest source from svn/git/mercurial/whatever. Your skills as a programmer should transfer over to a new language relatively easily, and you'll have done a good deed.
I want one that looks like my mother!
Can someone please explain this sports analogy with a car analogy so I can understand it?
I think a pizza analogy would be more appropriate.
Hey. I've got a brilliant Idea. Let's construct a thermonuclear fusion reactor at the center of the solar system. We will collect the radiation energy with photovoltaic cells pointed to the sky. As there are no moving parts, it wouldn't require much maintainence either. Why hasn't anybody implemented such a brilliant idea?
Where are you going to put said photovoltaic cells?
Photvoltaics have poor efficiency. I think I saw, maybe here on Slashdot, that the very best cells are 19.3% efficiency. Since you claim there are no moving parts, I suppose you're not going to try to mount them on some sort of Sun-tracking axis either.
The pollution argument is probably a moot point too. IIRC, the manufacturing process for photovoltaics is rather toxic.
The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!