There is one experimental feature to play with at the moment! It is:
Albers boxes are a shout-out and a series of warm and sloppy kisses for the artist Josef Albers and his book about the Interaction of Color. We show Albers boxes when an image can't be found or when an image has not yet been digitized using the conentric squares as a device to convey some of the information we know about an object.
The outer ring of an Albers box represents the department that an object belongs to; the middle ring represents the period that an object is part of; the inner ring denotes the type of object. For example:
When you mouse over an Albers box we display a legend for each one of the colors. We are trying to imagine a visual language that a person can become familiar with, over time, and use a way to quickly scan a result set and gain some understanding in the absence of an image of the object itself.
If you're wondering how the colors are chosen take a look at this lovely blog post from 2007 from the equally lovely kids at Dopplr. They had the right idea way back then so we're just doing what they did!
Experimental features are, well, experimental. That still means they should behave properly just like anything else on the site but if they don't we hope you'll be understanding and take it in stride. Experimental features are enabled on a per-machine and per-web-browser basis and can be disabled (or re-enabled) at any time by visiting this page. Enjoy!