Looking backwards in time is to be constantly surprised. There's always so much that has been forgotten, and is genuinely strange and unfamiliar Seen in detail, eras often belie their stereotypes. How to be a Retronaut posts themed photo galleries chiefly from any decade of the last ten. Topics include Colour tourist photographs from the Soviet Union (1960s), Harlem Street Scenes (1930s), Pepsi advertisements (1950s), an Apple Gift Catalogue (1983), portraits taken in fake snow (Victorian England) and abandoned buildings of Detroit (2000s) and many, many more. The photographs and ephemera are often hard to contextualise and integrate, yet in an odd way, bring the past momentarily into the present.
When installed in your browser, Cooliris converts a standard image search session into a rather more attractive (and possibly more useful) slide show. Google, Bing, Picasa and Flickr image searches are supported (among others). If nothing else, it can make a prosaic image search into a more interactive and almost three dimensional affair.
Anyone in the design or advertising trade has spent (way too much) time looking through stock photo libraries. While some of these images are works of creative brilliance, the majority are mind searingly dull and issue from the department of the extremely obvious and literal. Huffington Post celebrates the unintentionally surreal/idiotic nature of some stock photo memes, such as people holding tiny houses and people in bed listening to bluetooth devices. The sooner someone invents a software genie that can select the perfect picture via algorithm, the better.