1. The bataan death march
  2. A software project typified by high risk, short staff, underfunding, short deadlines, and so on.
  3. A book about (2) by Edward Yourdon (Full title: Death March: The Complete Software Developer's Guide to Surviving 'Mission Impossible' Projects)

It's an endless stream of days where you work long hours, but you never feel like you've made any significant forward motion. You lose track of what day of the week it is. You don't talk to your friends for what turns out to be months. And for what?