Ever thought about that word, deadlines? Dead lines? Is it that the line itself is dead? Or that your death is somehow connected to the line? Before the line that is dead, you are alive, after the line, you are dead, because you didn’t make your deadline. Actually, according to (I love Wikipedia and its spinoffs), the understanding of a deadline as a due date comes from journalism, which in turn adopted it from printing, going back to the days of the old printing presses, where a dead line was a line on a plate that did not move. Like many of the words in the english language, deadline – as a due date – is not all that old. Interestingly, other contexts the word has been used in include a fishing line that is set and not moved, left to wait for a bite, and in the prison system, as a line (often a fence) over which inmates must not go or they will be shot.

Your dead line is March 13th. Friday the 13th, in fact. How’s that for an ominous deadline date? (Speaking of relatively recent, apparently references to Friday the 13th being unlucky really only start appear in the early 1900s – the connection has been made to a book that came out at that time by Thomas W. Lawson called Friday, the thirteenth, about a Wall Street broker who uses the superstition to his advantage.)

Friday the 13th would be today. Today is the last day I am officially accepting material for the blog carnival The Moth and Me, which will be posted at NAMBI on Sunday. As you all know, I am crazy about moths (only slightly less crazy than I am about birds, and just a tad more than I am about nature in general), and I hope to see this carnival thrive and prosper. But that requires that people send in their links! For the first edition or two I’m not picky about date – send in anything you have, even if it’s from a year or two ago. Let’s give this fabulous group of organisms their due! I will unofficially still accept material up to late tomorrow (Saturday), but don’t leave it to the last minute if you can – I’ll be working to put together the post tomorrow, and would like to have material in hand by then.

Festival of the Trees

Your other deadline, which is fortunately is a little further in the future, is for Festival of the Trees. This will be a busy month for me, in terms of hosting carnivals, in that I’ll be doing two within a couple weeks of each other. Links for FOTT will need to be in to me by March 30, for an April 1 carnival. Trees, and anything tree-related (such as tree-specific fungi, tree-using insects, or tree-loving people), will be happily accepted.

Specify which carnival the links are for in your subject line. One post per person preferably, although if you have two really good ones and just can’t decide, go ahead and send them both in. Email them to: sanderling [at] symbiotic [dot] ca or, for FOTT, use the online submission form.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone has to offer!