Merge sort benchmark

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PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl and C++ are benchmarked on a classic merge-sort algorithm with the following results:

hardware: Intel Core 2 Duo T5300 1.73 Ghz, 2 GB RAM, Ubuntu Linux

PHP 11.879
Ruby 8.450
Perl 4.751
Python 4.058

On a Mac Mini Intel Core 2 Du 1.83 Ghz, 1GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.5 we get the following times for Perl, Python and newLISP:

Ruby v.8.6 6.372
Perl v.5.8.8 4.859
Python v.2.5 4.999
newLISP v.9.2 3.918

newLISP is still 25% faster than Python when literally translating, but can still be coded to be faster and shorter:
newLISP optimized code 2.877

More benchmarks.