Today I came to the realization that Northern Virginia is full of burbclaves. I guess I always knew I lived in one, but today I was given solid evidence. I spent the afternoon walking around the new neighborhood going up near my house. This new neighborhood seems to be the epiphany of a burbclave. So, what is a burbclave you say? Neal Stephenson, in his cyberpunk-esq book Snow Crash, describes a future where neighborhoods don't really exist any more. In their place are self-contained city-states that are corporate run. He gave them names like Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong, Nova Sicilia, and New South Africa. So, while I was wandering around the snaking side streets that interconnected the rows and rows of generic-townhouses, McMansions, and drab apartment buildings, the corporate presence and homogeny of this new neighborhood was uncanny. With one entrance and a grand 'Welcome to blah blah blah' sign, the only burbclave item missing was the Rat Thing... What is the Rat Thing? I don't think I can do it justice in a summary, you'll just have to read the book.