The Story of The Source Family Birth Rope, as told to Boing Boing by Isis Aquarian in Hawaii

[Boing Boing Video Link.]

"The Source Family" a documentary by Boing Boing pal Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos, tells the story of Father Yod and his Source Family, a radical, utopian social experiment that emerged from the Los Angeles freak scene in the 1970s. You can download it on Amazon or iTunes, and it's a terrific film.

Isis Aquarian, one of the Source Family members featured in that documentary, sat down with Boing Boing at her home on the island of Oahu to share a special artifact from the Source Family treasure chest. It is the "Birth Rope," a handmade rope on to which were tied the names of each child born into the flower child cult—including Isis' own daughter Saturna.

In our video above, Isis references a mugshot of her. It was taken by Hawaii police when she was arrested for not turning over a fellow Source Family member's body to authorities when he died. The group believed in natural ceremonies for both births and deaths. That police photograph is below.

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"The Eagle has landed." Remembering Apollo 11: July 20, 1969

Left to right: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, the crew of Apollo 11. Photo: NASA.


On this day in 1969, humans walked on the moon for the first time. The Apollo 11 spaceflight brought Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC.

Michael Collins, the mission's third member, remained in lunar orbit. All three men returned safely to Earth after an 8-day mission that began with a Saturn V rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida on July 16.

This was the fifth manned mission of NASA's Apollo program, which ran from 1963 to 1972 and included 6 missions that landed on the moon. These were the first and last times human beings set foot on another world.

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Pill-popping, jazz-loving Japanese youth in revolt, 1964 (photo)

LIFE.com has a beautiful gallery of Michael Rougier photographs from Japan in 1964: runaways, rock and rollers, biker gangs, "pill kids" and other Japanese teens. LIFE Magazine published some of these in September, 1964, but some have never before been published.

Above, the original caption from 1964: "Kako, languid from sleeping pills she takes, is lost in a world of her own in a jazz shop in Tokyo."

Psychedelic ad for Peace Corps, 1968 (video)

Image Link. Boing Boing reader MewDeep, who has an awesome Flickr stream of '60s-'70s ad scans, points to this YouTube clip of a notable television commercial from 1968: it's a promo for the Peace Corps, set to "Age of Aquarius." As MewDeep excerpts here, the ad is mentioned in The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism, by Thomas Frank.

Celebrate the birth of the Internet

Dress in your best 1960s attire for a grand-opening party this Saturday at the Kleinrock Internet Heritage Site on the UCLA campus. The site is like Colonial Williamsburg for nerds (or is that redundant?), with a historical reconstruction of the lab where the Internet was born in 1969. The party starts at 1:00 pm. There will be drinks, snacks, and Internet pioneers to gawk at. They are not joking about the period costumes.