The downside of affluence - It seems that the days of sitting around the pub for hours on end with a pint of Guinness are coming to an end in Ireland. According this Boston Globe article, a thousand rural pubs have closed on the Emerald Isle because the economy is so strong that people would prefer to just go home and watch TV. Nut quote from an old-timer: "Where can we go after a funeral? After work? Where would we all meet?" Blimey!