"Where did the blog excerpts go?", and more
A couple pointers for those already nostalgic for the earlier site:
Question: Where did the blog excerpts go?
Answer: Most blog links have indeed been reduced to just the name of the blog by default. Why? This makes the page easier to scan, and it permits extra emphasis for more noteworthy blog posts and articles. Roughly speaking, if a blog post hasn't been linked by anyone, it's unlikely to appear excerpted by default. But if a post does provoke some discussion, it may be featured as a headline on the page.
But most excerpts are still available. They're just hidden by default. To selectively unhide them, hover the mouse over the blog post link, and then click on the "+" symbol that appears. To unhide all excerpts at once, click on "Preferences" in the upper right corner of the page and select "Show Discussion Excerpts".
Question: Where is the "newest first" page?
Answer: It's no longer a standalone page. Instead, a newest first list is embedded in the right panel of the main page in the form of the "New Item Finder". To view an extended timeline, click the "Extend timeline" link at the end of the list.
I hope this helps, even as it won't cure everybody's nostalgia (consider "Where's the blogroll?").