Employees from the California Academy of Sciences and Exploratorium face-off at the Kanbar Forum.(credit: Matt Wandell/CBS)

by Bill Disbrow

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco’s glittering new Exploratorium played host to a battle of brains Wednesday night as the crew from the California Academy of Sciences made the trip across town for a trivia night showdown.

About 160 employees from San Francisco’s two premiere science-based attractions split up into teams to answer dozens of trivia questions. Over pints and pinot, the contestants faced-off to see which institution boasted the best brains.

As you might expect, the squads nailed many of the questions, but a few turned out to be tricky. Here they are:

Q: What are the 5 states in the U.S. with the highest tourist revenue?

A: California, Florida, New York, Nevada and Texas

Q: Under a once-common legal concept, an animal or inanimate object that caused the accidental death of a person was termed “deodand” and became property of the state. What invention led to so many accidental deaths that it led to deodand being abolished?

A: Trains or the rail system

Q: What agency is responsible for establishing and maintaining acceptable safety practices regarding blood borne pathogens in the adult film industry?

A: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Q: Nitrogen freezes at 63k (-346 degrees Fahrenheit). At what temperature does it boil?

A: 77k (-321 Fahrenheit)

Q: Name each of the four fundamental forces and the elementary particle that acts as its carrier?

A: Electromagnetism & photons, gravity & graviton, strong nuclear force and gluons, weak nuclear force and W & Z bosons or weak bosons

The questions were created by a four person panel, two employees from each institution. The quiz was held inside the Kanbar Forum at the Pier 15 museum.

To determine a winner, the five highest scores from the smaller groups representing each museum were tabulated and compared. In the end, the home team edged out the Academy of Sciences crew by a few correct answers.

“From what I understand, the first place team for each institution was tied, but they took the top five and averaged their score. They had the higher score,” said Matt Wandell, a biologist at the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium. “It was an inaugural thing. I think it will definitely happen again. It’s a rivalry now.”

Wandell said he looks forward to a rematch, and hopes the Academy will play host next time around.

“Everybody loved it. The (museum) directors were both there cheering us on,” said Wandell. “It was a lot of fun.”

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