Newley Purnell's home on the web since 2001

Month: September 2002 (Page 1 of 5)

New Yorker on the New York Bonghitters

The New York Mets suck. The New York Bonghitters, on the other hand, are 50-8-4 since 1996.

“The Rise of the Asian Superjocks”

Tom Scocca describes “The Rise of the Asian Superjocks.” “The most eagerly anticipated NBA rookie in years? Asian. The world’s greatest golfer, the quickest pro hockey player, the most precocious relief ace? Asian, Asian, Asian.”

More books

Joseph Epstein: “According to a recent survey, 81 percent of Americans feel they have a book in them — and that they should write it. As the author of 14 books, with a 15th to be published next spring, I’d like to use this space to do what I can to discourage them.” (New York Times; free registration required.)


“The last natural blondes will die out within 200 years, scientists believe.”


Dave Eggers talks about his new novel. Since he’s known for his famously humorous, delightfully silly writing (see his Web site,, I was suprised at the emotional depth of his memoir, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.”


Reuters reports: “An irate Peruvian congressman has challenged Vice President David Waisman to a duel with pistols on a Lima beach, saying he had been insulted and called a coward, and his honour was at stake.”

Dabba wallahs

In Mumbai (Bombay), India, “dabba wallahs”–lunch box deliverymen–are part of “the world’s most ingenious meal distribution system.” I recently saw a TV show about these guys. They’re amazingly efficient. More info and photos here.

Random House’s new site

Random House, my ex-employer, has, at long last, re-vamped their home page. While the new graphical design makes for a better look, I see some problems:

1) Most important–and I’m really surprised that they’ve done this–the front page locks visitors in, so they can’t click back from whence they came. A major mistake. It’s an annoying tactic.
2) The site employs Flash, which I don’t like. It’s unnecessary. And some people don’t have the plug-in required to make it work.
3) The front page is too busy.
4) They’ve buried the page that lists their email newsletters, and it should be advertised prominently on their front page. They should be making more of an effort to get people to subscribe to their various email communications–email is an important element in keeping people psychologically connected to Web sites.

Kmart Forever

Kmart Forever is a community gathering place for employees, retirees, friends, family and supporters of Kmart.” I want a t-shirt bad.

Google News

More on Google News: the BBC reports on the algorithm vs. human editor news selection process, and Nick Denton finds fault with the way Google News decides which stories are most important.

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