Reading Today

Episode 928: Hong Kong

“Jimmy Lai is one of the richest people in Hong Kong. And in some ways, the story of his rise is the story of Hong Kong itself. Jimmy was born in mainland China. In 1960, when he was 12 years old, he snuck out of China and into Hong Kong by hiding in the bottom of a fishing boat.”

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Reading Today

Sokolsky Opening

“According to various databases, out of the twenty possible first moves from White, the move 1.b4 ranks ninth in popularity.[1] It is considered an irregular opening, so it is classified under the A00 code in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (ECO).”

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Queen’s Pawn Game

“In the most general sense the term Queen’s Pawn Game can refer to any chess opening which starts with the move 1.d4. It is the second most popular opening move after 1.e4. The name is usually used to describe openings beginning with 1.d4 where White does not play the Queen’s Gambit.”

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Englund Gambit

“Black’s idea is to avoid the traditional closed queen’s pawn games and create an open game with tactical chances, but at the cost of a pawn. The gambit is considered weak; Boris Avrukh writes that 1…e5 “seems to me the worst possible reply to White’s first move”.”

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Scandinavian Defense

“The Center Counter Defense is one of the oldest recorded openings, first recorded as being played between Francesc de Castellví and Narcís Vinyoles in Valencia in 1475 in what may be the first recorded game of modern chess, and being mentioned by Lucena in 1497.”

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Sicilian Defense

“The Sicilian Defense is the most popular defense against white’s opening 1.e4 and is used extensively at top level play. It is a very aggressive defense and immediately stakes claim at the center, denying white the double pawns on e4 and d4. Many chess champions actually prefer to start with 1.d4 because of how well the Sicilian Defense plays against 1.e4.”

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County Wage Growth (Map of the Week)

“While the macro outlook is more uncertain today, one item our office has tried to highlight is that current economic conditions are pretty good. The share of prime working-age Americans and Oregonians is relatively high and wages are rising.”

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Friday Beer Thoughts: Local Demand

“Many of the business discussions surrounding beer tend to focus on the number of breweries opening or closing. We use that as a barometer for the health of the sector, including our previous look at industry dynamism. Counting breweries is pretty easy, however it also provides an incomplete picture.”

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Fun Friday: Marginal Propensity to Consume

“One question our office gets quite frequently about the kicker is what sort of economic impact does it have. After all we are returning hundreds of millions, if not a billion, dollars to taxpayers who likely did not budget the kicker into their household finances.”

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What People Actually Say Before They Die

“Insights into the little-studied realm of last words. Mort Felix liked to say that his name, when read as two Latin words, meant “happy death.” When he was sick with the flu, he used to jokingly remind his wife, Susan, that he wanted Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” played at his deathbed.”

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Reading Today

What Replaces Timber?

“Between the mill closure in Coos Bay, downsizing in Forest Grove, and the lively cap and trade discussions, there has been a renewed interest and focus on the timber industry in Oregon.”

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