Oh my, that really is mold. Throw it out. Regarding yeast starters sljohnson mentioned. He's right, and it will make a significant difference. I didn't start making starters until later in my years of making beer. Although swirling does work pretty good, it won't replace a stir plate, which you can make yourself or by one for around $70. Especially when you don't have time to hang over the starter for a few days. In a recent study, a stir plate helped the yeast grow significantly more than samples without a stir plate, or with swirling. However, swirling is still much better than letting the starter sit there and do nothing, or if you don't want to shell out the cash.