George Harrison's elaborate prank on Phil Collins may be the funniest joke in rock history

via Philippe Roos / Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

Beatle George Harrison was pigeon-holed as the "Quiet Beatle," but the youngest member of the Fab Four had an acerbic, dry sense of humor that was as sharp as the rest of his bandmates.

He gave great performances in the musical comedy classics, "A Hard Days Night" and "Help!" while holding his own during The Beatles' notoriously anarchic press conferences. After he left the band in 1970, in addition to his musical career, he would produce the 1979 Monty Python classic, "The Life of Brian."

Harrison clearly didn't lose his sense of humor for the rest of his life. Shortly before his death in 2001, he played an elaborate prank on Phil Collins that shows how the "Here Comes the Sun" singer would go the extra mile for a laugh.

In 1970, Harrison was recording his first solo record and arguably the best by a Beatle, "All things Must Pass." The session for the song, "The Art of Dying" featured former Beatle Ringo Starr on drums, keyboard legend Billy Preston on keys, virtuoso Eric Clapton on guitar, and was produced by the notorious Phil Spector.

Harrison wanted a conga player for the session, so Ringo's chauffeur reached out to Phil Collins' manager. At the time, Collins was a relative unknown who was about to join Genesis, a band that would bring him worldwide stardom.

The 18-year-old Collins was starstruck playing on a session with two former Beatles, so he played extra hard in rehearsals, resulting in blood blisters on both hands.

"Anyway, after about two hours of this, Phil Spector says, 'Okay congas, you play this time.' And I'd had my mic off, so everybody laughed, but my hands were shot," Collins told Express.

"And just after that they all disappeared – someone said they were watching TV or something – and I was told I could go," after that, Collins was relieved of his duties and told to go home. A few months later, Collins bought the massive triple album in the record shop and was devastated to learn he'd been edited out of the song.

"There must be some mistake! Collins thought. "But it's a different version of the song, and I'm not on it."

Some thirty years later, Collins bought the home of Formula One driver Jackie Stewart, a close friend of Harrison. Stewart mentioned to Collins that Harrison was remixing "All Things Must Pass" for a rerelease.

"And he said, 'You were on it, weren't you?' And I said, 'Well I was there,"' Collins recalled.

Two days later, a tape was delivered from Harrison to Collins with a note that read: "Could this be you?" Collins continued: "I rush off and listen to it, and straight away I recognize it." It was a recording of "The Art of Dying."

"Suddenly the congas come in – too loud and just awful," Collins was devastated, then as the end of the take, Harrison can be heard saying, "Hey, Phil, can we try another without the conga player?"

Collins was devastated, to say the least.

A while later, Stewart calls Collins and puts Harrison on the line. "'Did you get the tape?' Harrison asked. "I now realize I was fired by a Beatle," Collins sighed. The two changed the subject, but a few minutes later, Harrison couldn't stop laughing.

"Don't worry, it was a piss-take. I got Ray Cooper to play really badly and we dubbed it on," Harrison admitted. "Thought you'd like it!" So, Harrison had an entire recording session with a conga player who he asked to play poorly, just to pull one over on Collins.

If you're in the mood for another of rock's greatest pranks. The story of "The Ring" told by Beastie Boys' Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz shared in "Beastie Boys Story" is another great example of someone going to incredible lengths just for a laugh.

The story revolves around the late Beasties' rapper Adam "MCA" Yach, his bandmate Horovitz, and a very creepy ring given to him by a fan backstage at a concert.

“The Ring" from Beastie Boys Story (Original Original Cut)

Collaborative Fund was founded a decade ago with the mission to support and invest in the shared future. Since then, the conversation around impact investing has only grown. We couldn't be more excited.

Impact investing has evolved to mean different things to different people. In our eyes, any entity -- non-profit, for-profit, individual, or government organization -- that invests time, money, or resources to push the world forward can be classified as an impact investor.

To show how far the world has come, we created an incomplete timeline of some of what we find to be the most interesting milestones in this landscape. You can check it out here.

Impact Investing | An Interactive History

Impact Investing | An Interactive

An interactive history of impact investing from 1971 to today.

We've followed the common thread that ties the signing of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, in which 84 countries committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to the 2006 release of An Inconvenient Truth in Theaters, which opened eyes to global warming worldwide, to more recent, large-scale ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) strides in the corporate world, like:

  • The Ford Foundation committing (the largest commitment of this kind made by a private foundation) $1 Billion to mission-related investments in 2017.
  • Business Roundtable redefining the purpose of a corporation to benefit all stakeholders, not just shareholders, in 2019.

The events we've included in this interactive history stand out as significant moments in this global movement. But this is nowhere near a comprehensive collection. This is more than an outline – it's a call to action. We want this to be a living, breathing thing that we can add to, and we want your help.

If there are any significant events or ideas that deserve to be included, we'd love to hear from you, please email us at

school of fish in water

Ocean pollution is a huge problem. The notorious Great Pacific Garbage Patch, for example, contains enough trash to cover Texas twice-over. One component of ocean pollution that's especially threatening to human life is micro-plastics, pieces of plastic smaller than 5mm long (about the size of a sesame seed). When plastic pollution enters the ocean, the large pieces of plastic are broken down over time by exposure to the sea elements into very small plastic particles, which then exit the large garbage patches and spread throughout the ocean, eventually being consumed or otherwise absorbed by aquatic life, and working their way up the food chain to humans. According to a 2019 study cited by Consumer Reports, the average American eats, drinks, and breathes more than 74,000 toxic micro plastic particles every year.

Not only are micro-plastics incredibly harmful, their size and ubiquity make them extremely hard to clean out of the ocean. This is why most ocean anti-pollution projects, such as The Ocean Cleanup, focus on removing larger pieces of trash, before they can degrade. However a few years ago in 2019 Fionn Ferreira, just 18 years old at the time, invented an effective new method for removing micro-plastics from the oceans.

Ferreira was kayaking along the coast in Ballydehob, his hometown in west Cork Ireland, when he came upon a rock coated in oil. Ferreira noticed that small bits of plastic were sticking to the oil-coated-rock, which got Ferreira thinking. "In chemistry, like attracts like," Ferreira noted. He decided to combine vegetable oil and magnetite powder to create a nontoxic ferrofluid, a "magnetic liquid," or liquid that acts as a carrier for tiny magnetic particles—since ferrofluids and plastics attract when in the presence of water. Ferreira would add his ferrofluid to water samples full of micro-plastics, then remove the ferrofluid using a magnet, taking the micro-plastics with it. After hundreds of tests, Ferreira's ferrofluid was able to successfully remove at least 87% of micro-plastics from the water samples.

Since his discovery, Ferreira was named the overall winner of the 2019 Google Science Fair, an annual competition open to high schools around the world, and was awarded a $50,000 prize. He also established a company focused on micro-plastic removal technology, Fionn & Co., while also pursuing a Chemistry degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, ferrofluids have been tested as a possible tool for cleaning up oil spills, and early tests have been encouraging.

Ultimately, Ferreira believes that the only way to solve the massive problem of Ocean pollution is to change our consumption habits. "I'm not saying that my project is the solution," he said. "The solution is that we stop using plastic altogether."

Free Images : sand, plastic, sidewalk, floor, asphalt, line, soil ...

Sometimes it seems anti-pollution and recycling efforts are a long road to nowhere. That's how engineer Toby McCartney felt, until visiting India in 2016. While on the trip he worked with a group filling potholes using an improvised method combining waste-plastic, diesel fuel, and fire. Plastic has been used to construct roads in India since the turn of the century--and McCartney realized the idea could be applied to road construction in other countries, "to solve two world problems… the waste plastic epidemic, and on the other side the poor quality of roads we have to drive on today."

Upon returning home to Scotland he and two friends started experimenting, melting down various combinations of consumer plastics on his kitchen stove. After going through over 500 different combinations of waste plastics, McCartney and company found polymers that worked and founded a company, named MacRebur, to start building their plastic-enhanced asphalt roads.

Per MacRebur, plastic waste is broken down into small granules and replaces 20% of the sticky, oil-based bitumen that seals traditional roads. The mixed asphalt that results is up to 60% stronger, up to three times longer-lasting, and has huge environmental benefits. According to McCartney, each mile of road laid with his company's product is equivalent to almost 1.2 million single-use plastic bags or 80,000 plastic bottles. For every one-mile, two-lane road, there's a carbon offset of about 33 tons (equivalent to about 2.3 million plastic bags). Factor in the over four million miles of roads in the US that need to be paved and you start to see the incredible potential of the plastic-enhanced road solution--saving millions of pounds of plastic from ending up in landfills.

The enhanced roads bear no risk of an additional environmental cost. Since the plastic is safely between the stone and bitumen sealant, it can't easily reenter the environment. "All our plastics are heated to around 180 degrees," says McCartney. "They then fully homogenize in, so they mix in with the remaining bitumen in the road… So there is no micro-plastic present in any of our roads." Additionally, the process MacRebur uses never involves actually melting plastic, so no fumes ever escape into the atmosphere.

MacRebur has already paved thousands of miles of enhanced asphalt roads in the UK, and has just expanded to the United States, first Florida and California. While McCartney's enhanced roads are still relatively new, results have been promising so far, and the company is continuing to expand.

"At the end of the day plastic is a great product," McCartney told CNN. "It lasts for [a long, which is a problem if it's a waste product, but not a problem if we want it to last."

Whether it's his net worth or his latest internet beef, it can be hard keeping up with internet troll slash richest person on the planet Elon Musk. Last week around the same time Musk made headlines for his record net worth (currently $306.5 Billion and counting), he also entered into a new twitter feud, this time with David Beasley, the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (or WFP).

It all started on Tuesday October 26th when Beasley appeared on the CNN show Connect The World with Becky Anderson to discuss world hunger and how it's worsened in the age of the pandemic. Citing a perfect storm of "conflict, climate change, and COVID," Beasley explained that the number of people with food insecurity doubled in the past year from 135 million to 270 million. Of that 270 million, 42 million people were considered especially critical and at risk of famine-like conditions unless provided with relief.

Desperate for extra-governmental funds Beasley made a direct plea to the ultra-rich, particularly Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, asking for a one-time donation of $6.6 Billion. In making his case he highlighted that government funds have been exhausted as a result of the pandemic, while billionaires have vastly increased their fortunes in that same time. "Bezos' net worth increase last year during Covid was 64 Billion," Beasley stated, "I'm just asking for 10 percent of [the] increase… Musk had a 6 Billion dollar increase in one day." The entirety of the proposed $6.6 Billion donation would exclusively go towards feeding the 42 million people on the brink of famine for one year.

Days later on October 31st Musk responded to a tweet about CNN's segment stating; "If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it." Later adding: "But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent." Unsurprisingly, the tweets immediately went viral.

Beasley responded to Musk later that day, correcting an inaccuracy in CNN's headline: the $6 Billion donation wouldn't "solve world hunger" outright, as the headline erroneously stated, the donation would save the 42 million people approaching famine, preventing "mass migration" and "geopolitical instability." (CNN would later correct their headline to reflect Beasley's actual statements).

In later tweets on the same thread Beasley elaborated on his proposal and offered to meet with Musk. Citing WFP's average meal cost of $0.43, Beasley offered the following basic equation to explain how he arrived at his price tag. "$.43 x 42,000,000 x 365 days = $6.6 billion." He also made the case for WFP as the right organization to tackle the issue. "We fed 115M+ people w/ nearly 20B rations. You know how to make cars; we know how to feed people. Decades of proven experience. Systems/ops in place..." Beasley tweeted. And later, "We operate in 80+ countries with operational plans in each. Scaling up to add more people is not difficult for us - just as it would not be difficult for you to make more cars. It's logistics and supply chain. There is a reason why we are Nobel laureates."

The WFP certainly has the history to back Beasley up. In 2020 the $8.4 billion they received in funding helped 115.5 million people in 80 countries, distributed $2.4 billion worth of food, and put $2.1 billion directly in the hands of hungry families to buy food from local markets. That same year WFP again received the highest scores for transparency from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATA), a group that publishes open-source accounting from more than 1,300 organizations. Beasley also promised, per Musk's wishes, to provide full transparency as to the appropriation and spending of the funds.

It is, however, unclear if Musk was serious about his initial offer. Since his encounter with Beasley, Musk's tweets on the subject have beendismissive, implying that the WFP and other relief organizations are ineffective in allocating their funds. Beasley is still, however, taking the issue very seriously. In addition to the supplemental information he's publicly provided, he also promised a more detailed plan in the near future. One hopes that there's still a chance Musk is swayed by WFP's forthcoming plan (a long-shot, no doubt), or, that Musk has already drawn so much attention to the issue that Beasley and WFP are able to fund raise from a different source. Because, as Beasley stated in his CNN appearance, somebody dies from hunger ever four seconds.

Click here to watch the CNN segment that initiated Musk's response.


The pen is mightier than the sword. What's mightier than the pen, you ask? Easy. A Graviky Labs Air-Ink pen. "How could one pen be mightier than every other pen," you ask, outraged. Well most pens use traditional ink which is produced in a process that involves burning fossil fuels. Air-Ink pens are different—instead of burning fossil fuels to produce their ink, Graviky labs actually collects and repurposes carbon from air pollution that already exists. Rather than contributing to climate change, their production process actually combats it. Which is good, because air pollution is a major environmental health issue, killing about 7-million people per year, according to the World Health Organization.

"Pollution is bad, but pollution happens to be a really good raw material to make inks," says Graviky co-founder Anirudh Sharma. Back in 2012 Anirudh, then a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, was visiting India when he captured a photo of a diesel generator blowing black exhaust against a stained wall, and had a revelation. "You shouldn't need to burn new fossil fuels just to make ink. Fossil fuels are already being burned." He returned to MIT and in 2013 he and a few friends successfully adapted an inkjet printer to print using ink collected from candle soot. That early success led to more tinkering, and soon they had invented a breakthrough device called the Kaalink.

The Kaalink is a small cylindrical filter that attaches to a vehicle's exhaust tailpipe and collects carbon soot, which Graviky then turns into ink. The device is reusable and filters "between 85-95%" of soot emissions. While the filter doesn't stop CO2 gas from entering the atmosphere, the soot it does capture would otherwise be a highly dangerous environmental pollutant. That pollutant, called PM 2.5, can cause serious health problems like asthma and lung disease. Graviky Labs' entire process, from manufacturing the Kaalink, collecting and processing the soot, and producing the black ink, is carbon-neutral. Each 30 milliliter bottle of Air-Ink is equivalent to approximately 45 minutes worth of vehicular soot emissions.

In terms of improving air quality, Air-Ink can't compete with the improved technology that more recent cars use to combat pollution, but it can be applied to millions of older vehicles, especially in developing countries where pollution ordinances "are rare—or rarely enforced." According to Anirudh, "Pollution is nothing but resources we're not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value." Air-Ink may not be a cure-all for climate change, but Anirudh is hoping it's just one of many ways to start using pollution productively: "It's a start, and it can inspire several others to start looking at new forms of waste that are lying outside, unutilized."

Superelastic tire, NASA Glenn Research Center

While millions of Americans tuned in to watch NASA perform another successful rover landing on Mars this past February, a new startup was preparing to announce Earthly intentions for a core technology behind the future of space exploration. Starting next year with the METL™ tire, The SMART Tire Company intends to take on the $250B global tire industry and bring an end to the era of flat tires, and reduce rubber waste, using space-age tire technology first designed for heavy vehicles on Mars.

Co-Founder & CEO, Earl Cole, talked about the motivation behind SMART tires with GOOD:

"After completing and winning a NASA Startup Studio program in 2020, my Co-Founder (Brian Yennie) and I formed a new company, The SMART Tire Company, to license NASA's superelastic tire patents and continue our work with NASA through a Space Act Agreement and commercialize the technology for consumer use. Since the beginning of this project, we've been asked many times about 'Reinventing the Wheel', and we like to say that actually, we aren't. Our tires will still be round and get you from Point A to Point B. What we are doing is re-imagining the wheel and what our expectations are for such an important part of everyday life. Does it make sense that Americans deal with hundreds of millions of flat tires every year, or that 50 billion pounds of tire waste and microplastics pollute our environment annually? Is there no better way? We're going to still need round wheels to get us around for a long time, but it doesn't need to be this dirty and dangerous.

Our upcoming METL bike tire uses the same Shape Memory Alloy Radial Technology (SMART) materials that will be deployed on NASA's Fetch Rover in 2026. In order to address the extreme requirements of Mars missions, those tires use an airless structure made from a special nickel-titanium alloy called "NiTinol". Through a unique characteristic of this material, the tires are able to rearrange their molecular structure in response to mechanical strain, an almost magical property called "superelasticity". Superelasticity at this scale is a major scientific breakthrough, and a game changer for the tire industry. We're seeing tires that can deform as much as we design them to, in some cases all the way to the wheel rim, and have 100% instant recovery. It's almost hard to believe it when you see it.

University of Akron's Heather Oravec, Ph.D. research associate professor at NASA

While flat-free driving was an obvious appeal to the technology, we soon discovered a huge side benefit: a tire with drastically less waste. Anyone who has discarded a used tire can probably imagine that it's not a green product. We really had no idea how huge this problem was at first. The more you dig, the worse it gets. From using petroleum products stuffed with carbon black (what gives tires their color), to discovering that 20-30% of all ocean plastic comes from tire runoff, to the sheer amount of tire waste produced every year, it's really overwhelming. Watching thousands of tires get burned for energy, sort of makes a coal power plant look reasonable. Don't be fooled by a few playgrounds or park benches made from recycled material. This is huge environmental problem.

How does a SMART tire help the environment? Well, first of all, we still use rubber treads, a common misconception if you've only seen the NASA rover tires or images of our prototypes that only show the inner tire alloy construct. The trick is using less, and wasting less. Without the need for structural support, we can focus almost entirely on the tread, and without air pressure to contain, we don't need to add more and more material for heavier applications. Unlike conventional tires, we also don't lose pressure (and thus fuel efficiency) with every passing mile. You're also much less likely to throw away your tire, when punctures and tears are much less serious problems. 70% of the current tire business comes from replacements, whereas our SMART tires are built to last the life of your vehicle and perhaps beyond.

Our METL bike tires are scheduled for launch in 2022, and are designed & manufactured at our new STC Innovation Center in Akron, Ohio, just down the road from NASA, Bridgestone and Goodyear tires. We also have other big projects lined up within the electric scooter, automotive and aerospace industries."

blue labeled plastic bottles

Plastics are one of the biggest and most problematic contributors to pollution. Millions of tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year. According to environmentalist Ellen MacArthur, if plastic production and pollution continue at the current rate, by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than it does fish. Part of what makes plastic so problematic is that it's not biodegradable and can take up to hundreds of years to break down in nature. Most plastic ends up either in landfills or in the ocean. It is estimated that less than 10% of plastic is actually recycled. In the decades since plastic usage has become widespread, it's proven unruly and unsustainable. However, in the last few years scientists have discovered an enzyme that has the potential to transform our relationship with plastic forever.

Polyethylene terephthalate, or PET plastic, has been one of the dominant types of plastic since it was patented in 1941. Almost all of the single-serving and 2-liter beverages in the US are in plastic bottles made up of PET plastic. In 2016, Japenese researchers discovered a bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis, growing on PET plastic sediment in a waste recycling center. Upon further examination researchers discovered that the bacterium produced two enzymes, PETase and MHETase which broke down PET plastic into TPA and Ethylene glycol—the building blocks for making new PET plastic. These enzymes broke down the plastic in a matter of days, rather than the hundreds of years PET naturally takes to degrade. The enzymes have also shown the ability to break down PEF plastic, a bio-based substitute to PET which, like PET, is not otherwise biodegradable.

In addition to its potential to fight pollution, part of what makes this discovery so extraordinary is that it's a natural solution to an unnatural, or manmade, problem—consuming a material that was only invented mere decades ago. In the years since the discovery, researchers have even improved on the natural form of Ideonella sakaiensis. While altering the proteins to understand how they worked, scientists accidentally made the enzymes even more efficient, by about 20%. These enzymes are still being studied and experimented with, and aren't yet prepared to fully solve the plastic problem—they don't break down all types of plastic, for example. There is, however, reason to be optimistic. As John McGeehan, the director of the Center for Enzyme Innovation stated to CNN, "this unanticipated discovery suggests that there is room to further improve these enzymes, moving us closer to a recycling solution for the ever-growing mountain of discarded plastics," said McGeehan."

Watch this video to learn more about ideonella sakaiensis:

Ending Plastic Pollution with Designer

Indoor lighting: can't live with it, can't live without it. On one hand, lighting is expensive, costing on average $1,400 dollars per household per year, plus it's bad for the environment, accounting for about 20% of worldwide energy consumption. Lighting can even be unhealthy, as staring at bright lights all day causes permanent retinal damage. On the other hand, lighting is a necessary and unavoidable feature of modern life. We use it for almost everything. Simply put, it's not going away anytime soon. Because lighting is both so ubiquitous and so problematic, scientists have long been focused on finding less troublesome ways of producing light (LED bulbs, for example, are more energy efficient). Recently researchers at MIT have discovered another way of sourcing light, one that doesn't involve lightbulbs or even electricity.

Scientists in the relatively new field of plant nanobiotics have successfully developed a technique to make plants emit low-intensity lighting using nanoparticles containing the chemicals that make fireflies glow, chemicals like "luciferase" and "luciferin." The technology has not quite reached the point where bioluminescent plants can replace traditional lighting—so far they don't retain their glow long enough to replace traditional light sources. There is reason to be optimistic, however. When the project began in 2015 researchers could only keep plants lit for forty-five minutes. By 2017 they were able to make spinach, kale, and watercress plants emit light for four hours. "The vision is to make a plant that will function as a desk lamp — a lamp that you don't have to plug in. The light is ultimately powered by the energy metabolism of the plant itself," says Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the senior author of the study.

Another group of researchers have been developing a type of bioluminescence, one that doesn't use nanobiotics or luminescent chemicals. The second group of researchers published their findings in February of 2020. They discovered naturally occurring bioluminescence in certain varieties of mushrooms. They were able to isolate and transfer DNA sequences from the mushrooms into a number of plants, and, unlike with MIT's bionanic luminescence, these genetically modified bioluminescent plants retain their glow for their entire life cycle. The scientists have even found methods of making the plants grow ten times brighter than the initial amount. Further experiments will involve transferring the DNA into more types of plants, and changing the color of the light, it's brightness, and even having the light respond to surroundings.

If advancements in plant bioluminescence continue, we may soon be trading our book lamps and night lights for glow-in-the-dark petunias or bushels of kale.

Watch this video from MIT below to learn more about bioluminescent plants:


(MIT Explainer VIDEO: