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Opening Bell: 5.16.08

Philly's $100 Cheesesteak (
Yep, it's today's Drudge-endorsed econ link. But we know what you're thinking... this is some ridiculous extravagance for the rich and it probably has crazy ingredients on it, like gold leaf. But nope: $100, that's just what a normal cheesesteak costs in Philly these days in light of food inflation. Ok, that's a joke. Among the ingredients: poached lobster and truffles. Blech.
Bernanke's Bubble Laboratory (WSJ)
Some Bernankeistas at Princeton (where he was CEO of the econ dept.) have set up a "lab" to study bubbles. And that would be financial bubbles, not the kind that could, you know, actually be studied in a lab. Bubbles are fascinating, no doubt. That book about extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds, called Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, is a great read. But labwork on bubbles, c'mon, really?
Microsoft Joins Effort for Laptops for Children (NYT)
Really, we're not cynical people, but we can't help but read deeply into the news that Microsoft is now partnering with the (way overhyped) One Laptop Per Child organization. Two things to consider: At this point, the organization has shown itself to be ineffective, so really, no harm in Microsoft giving it some love. And also, this is the exact kind of deal that will kill any zealous, grass roots support the organization has. Who wants to volunteer and evangelize a little, cheap computer with Windows on it. Oh, and how the hell will these things manage to run Windows, when even most people's computers can't do it.
Little League, Huge Effect (American)
Youth sports are good for the economy. Probably more of a long-term phenomenon. In the mean time, the only thing that will help is stimulus checks.
The Sweet, Sweet Irony of Mark Cuban and Yahoo (AllThingsD)
By now you've heard that Mark Cuban is on Carl Icahn's proposed board slate as he wages a proxy war for Yahoo. And of course you know the history., top of the bubble, yadda yadda yadda. Nevertheless, Kara Swisher writes about it in top notch form, so for some amusement, check it out.