I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.
I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.
For the last week I was training on a secure facility located near Darwin. That means that nobody can tell me why they're learning Perl, or what they do for a job. It also means that I need to be accompanied at all times, including when getting a coffee, or visiting the bathroom.
Actually, I tell a lie there. I'm not allowed to fetch my own coffee, since the area containing the coffee machine is restricted. In some ways it's like being a little kid again, I can't go anywhere without being accompanied by a responsible adult.
Working on a secure facility is nothing new, I've done this a few times before with trips to Canberra. However this facility has by far has the best satellite photos of anywhere I've worked. That's a lot of technology out in the middle of nowhere.
While my 'need to know' extends about as far as the cafeteria menu, I've picked up some of the local rumours about the base. Apparently it's part of Australia's UFO-defense network, with interceptors launched from a nearby air-base, and a UFO missile defense system near Alice Springs. Apparently UFOs are a real problem during the hurricane season, as the bad weather can interfere with equipment and the number of abductions goes way up. Another good reason to stay inside during a hurricane alert.
Unfortunately I didn't get to see any UFO intercepts, not least because I was teaching in a room with no windows. Nor was I allowed to see the recovered alien technology on sub-basement 7G. Even so, I'm very excited that Perl may potentially being used for integrating with other-worldly technology.