I knew that Google's archive of Life magazine photos had launched, but I didn't get sucked into it until John posted about it the other day. He warned that visitors to the site should be ready to "lose a few hours," and he was right. The scope and number of searchable images is staggering.But the thing that strikes me most about the archive is the chance to stumble across a color shot from an era typically remembered in black and white. It's a stirring reminder that these people and places and events that have been transformed into the pop history of the 20th century were real, living things, and looked just like things do now. Everything from film quality to hairstyles has a way of making the past seem otherworldly, but some of the photos in this collection make it feel more real. (One of the best examples of this is seeing a color photo of soldiers in World War II, which has in modern times been rendered in movies has having a kind of permanent burned-out sepia look, something that Steven Spielberg has never quite come out and apologized for.) Here are some great samples: The rest of the archive is here.