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Two SciShow hosts go head-to-head in a battle to figure out who will be the reigning champion for this era of SciShow Quiz Show!


Hosted by: Blake de Pastino

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Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Question 4

Question 5

Question 6

 (00:00) to (02:00)


Blake: Greetings, internet, and welcome to SciShow Quiz Show.  I'm your host, Michael Aranda.  

Michael: You are the most attractive SciShow host, I must say.  

B: I know.  You're gonna get mistaken for me when you're not wearing the black shirt.

M: All the time.

B: Yeah.  Happens to me too.  You're welcome.

M: Thank you.

B: In real life, my name is Blake de Pastino and I'm the editor-in-chief of SciShow and also co-host of PBS Eons with this guy, who we'll get to later.  But I'm only here today to officiate over the final face-off between these two SciShow hosts.  On my right is the real Michael Aranda.  Can I ask you a personal question?

M: Mhmm.

B: That's not the answer I was expecting, actually.  Tell me about your hair.  You've updated your look.  

M: Have I?

B: Yes.  

M: I just let the blonde grow out and I haven't gotten around to bleaching it yet.  

H: It'll be back, it'll be back.

B: Ohh, okay.  I like it.  I'm actually getting my own blonde streak if you consider grey to be a very, very light shade of blonde.  On my left is eccentric billionaire, Hank Green.

H: Hello.  I dye all my hairs.  

B: And you know who he is, right, so I don't have to introduce you.  

H: We're all wearing black today because this is the last episode for a long time of SciShow Quiz Show, before we maybe update it in some ways, but I'm wearing like, confetti black.  

M: Yeah, black with sprinkles.  

B: Yeah, kind of a deep navy.

H: What?  I think it's black.  

M: It's got a little blue in it.

H: You're right, it is deep navy.  

B: Optical illusion.

H: And a lot of cat hair.  

B: What do you think?  It's like "the dress".  Is it black or is it navy?  

H: I'll tell you what, somebody's got a better bicep than somebody else.  

B: So these two dummies are playing for prizes, but they're not going to receive the prizes.  Instead, they will go to Patreon Patrons who we've selected at random.

H: Who are they?

B: You'll be playing for Sandra Reedy.

H: Hello, Sandra.

B: And you, whatsyourname, will be playing for Daniel O'Brien.  

M: Daniel O'Brien.  

B: And to show our players and audience what they will win, here's the lovely, intelligent Stefan Chin.  Stefan.

S: Where am I?  Oh, it's the prize zone.  Well, my friends, this is it.  This is our final time together for now, but you know what that means.  

 (02:00) to (04:00)

Everything's on sale!  Everything. Must. Go.  All prizes are 40% off, 60%, 90%!  Wait, what's that?  Oh, there's nothing left.  Wait, looters?!  What?  I don't know what's happening.  Well, Sandra and Daniel, you're definitely still getting the autographed cards from the final round of the show, and the person who ends up with the most points will get the commemorative 'I Won SciShow Quiz Show' pin.  It's made of metal.  But the biggest loser of the show will get the last, final, and the rarest of the rare pins, because it's the last ever 'I Lost SciShow Quiz Show' pin.  Well, I guess this is it.  Comin' at you from the Prize Zone, this is Stefan Chin, signing off.

B: Okay, I'm going to start you each off with 1,000 points.  Each time you get a correct answer, you will gain points.  If you give a wrong answer, you will lose points.

H: Yes.

B: Do you follow that?

H: Yes.


M: As arbitrary as ever.

B: So without further ado, let's jump into our first round, looks can be deceiving.  

H: Okay.

B: This is a picture round, so all our answers will be based on images.  You ready? 

H: Mhmm.

B: Plants and animals come in a dizzying variety of colors.  In many cases, these colors are based on pigments.  Anthocyanins, for example, are pigments that give plants vibrant chains of red, purple, and blue, but it's purple we're interested in today, because my question to you is, which of the following four purple fruits or vegetables does not actually exist?  Is it A: the tomato, B: the cauliflower, C: the strawberry, or D: the lime?

H: Ooh, a purple lime.  Oh, I forgot we had to buzz in.  

M: I'm gonna say D.  

B: No, sorry.

H: I'm glad, yeah, I'm glad you said D because I wasn't gonna say D, but--

M: Then why are you glad I said D?

H: 'Cause so you lost points.  I'm gonna say C, that strawberry looks fake to me.

B: That is correct.

H: Ehh!  

B: I don't understand the answers to these things, but I have a  colleague who does, so here's Smart Blake to explain the answer.

Thank you, Dumb Blake.  Anthocyanins aren't just pigments, they're also antioxidants, meaning that they can help wrangle charged free radicals that can cause harm to cells.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

Now some people think that foods high in anthocyanins are especially good for you, like that purple cauliflower, but the science behind that claim isn't exactly solid.  Nonetheless, scientists have found ways to get more of these molecules into foods that normally don't have them, which is where those blue tomatoes and purple limes come from.  Garden-variety tomatoes don't usually have anythocyanins in the fruits themselves, but some wild varieties do, so with careful pollenating and selective breeding, researchers have been able to produce tomato plants that make purple fruits and most limes don't produce anthocyanins naturally, so to get purple ones, researchers have given Mexican limes the genes from grapes and blood oranges, which sounds rather delicious.  As for strawberries, they do contain anthocyanins, but not enough for the bluer ones to make the berries look purple, and so far, as far as we know, no one has tried to breed or engineer purple strawberries.  Back to you, dumb Blake.

M: I'm glad you won the points, Hank.

H: Oh, hey, thank you.  Yeah.

B: So there might not be purple strawberries yet, but I am all about their development because they look delicious.  Let me redirect the conversation slightly and let's talk about cockroaches.  There are over 7500 species in the order Blattodea.

H: Blattodea?

B: Which I think is hilarious because you know whoever named the cockroaches were like, you're looking at cockroaches?  And they're like, blaaaah todea.  

H: Yeah.

B: We'll just say it means something in Greek.  Anyway, Blattodea is the order that includes cockroaches and they're incredibly diverse.  Some are even downright beautiful.  

H: I had no idea.  I thought cockroaches were one species.  

B: You would think, right?

H: But there's a bunch of different cockroaches.  This is amazing news.  I mean, probably not amazing for everybody.  I'm excited, though.

B: I am, too.  I mean, as far as I can get excited about cockroaches, I guess.

H: Yeah, right, right.  

B: Which of the following is not one of those cockroach species?  

H: Oh, okay.  We've got pictures.  

B: So is it A: the red stripedy one, B: this noble bug, C: this spotted beauty, D: this large-winged bug, E: this glowing beast, or F: this little blue beauty?

H: Okay.  Boy, oh, boy, they all are staggering variety.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

B: Hit me.

M: I'm gonna go with F.

H: I was gonna go with F.  Oh, you saved me.

B: That's incorrect.

M: I'm so glad I lost points.  

H: Oh, well, thank you.  I will go with, I don't know, like, it feels like--A.  

B: Also incorrect.

H: Oh, well, there were so many.  There were so many.

B: The roaches that we love to loath are just a small fraction of the order Blattodea.  The ancestor of all cockroaches split from its insect relatives right after the (?~6:31) extinction 252 million years ago and in this post-extinction world, there was room for roaches to diversify, which is probably why you can find all sorts of pretty cockroaches today.  You can even find ones that mimic other insects, including beetles and fireflies, but that picture in our lineup was a true firefly, not a cockroach mimic.  Now you astute viewers might have noticed that there's a termite in that group as well, and that's because technically speaking, termites are cockroaches.  A pair of studies has demonstrated that termites are an offshoot of the cockroach order, basically a version of roaches that lives in colonies, but the interesting thing is that this split took place around 150 million years ago, a good 50 million years before ants or bees started living in colonies, so good for them, I guess?  Back to you, Blake.

H: I once killed a cockroach on my face.  

B: Oh my God.  With a shoe?

M: No, the cockroach was on the counter, you just--

H: I was asleep at the time, and I--

B: Ohh.

H: Yeah, and I woke up and I was like, there's a dead cockroach on me.  

B: Did it leave, like, squish on your face?

H: Yeah, it smelled really bad on the inside.  

B: Hank might be ahead for now but it's anyone's game because it's time for round two, which is our Patron potpourri.  That's--is that why it smells so good in here suddenly?  

M: Yeah.  

B: We asked our Patrons to vote on some topics for potential questions and these are the ones that they voted for and it's about blood.  You ready?  

M: I have some of that.

B: What blood type are you?

M: I have no idea.

B: Really?  

H: You should know that.  O-.  I'm the best one.

B: I am A+ and it's the only A+ I've ever gotten.  I'm very proud of it.  So blood type is a combination of special molecules called antigens that you have on your red blood cells, like a person with AB+ has A and B antigens as well as (?~8:08) antigens which is the plus, and so these three antigens in various combinations of them give us the eight major blood types that we know of, and your blood type are super important because it dictates who can receive your blood, but your blood type is actually an oversimplification because there are many other rare blood types.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

These happen when people have or lack other antigens, so the question is, how many of these blood antigens are known to science?  Is it A: around 35, B: a little over 200, C: more than 600, D: over 2000?   So it's the total number of known blood antigens known to science.

H: So there's like, there's like, oh, I can't look at the card.  

B: No.

H: Um, I guess I'll go first and I'm gonna go over 2000.  

B: That is incorrect.

H: Well, but.  I was talking about all animals.  Not just humans.

B: That's not what the question is about, so therefore, still wrong.  If we could judge in on this...oh, we don't have judges because we're making this all up as we go.  Yes?

M: Uhh, B.  

B: That is also incorrect.  

H: Is it more than--

B: It is more than 600.  

H: 2000 is more than 600.

M: But if we go by Price is Right rules, I was the closest without going over so I think I should get those points.  

H: What if we just give Michael 1000 points for hosting SciShow?

B: Aw.

M: That's--

B: Oh, you guys, that's so sweet.  

M: Yeah, yeah, I approve of this.

B: Okay.  Fine with me.  

Even when a donor's blood is matched with a recipient, like a person with O- blood is given O- blood, transfusion reactions can still happen, and that's because there still aren't just three blood antigens, there are hundreds.  Over 600 as of 2019, and new ones keep being discovered.  Those discoveries generally occur when something goes wrong.  When a human body encounters a blood antigen it has never seen, it mounts an immune response to it, so new antigens are generally discovered when an unexpected reaction occurs, either during a transfusion or hopefully when blood is being tested before being used.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

If something strange does happen, like two blood samples clumping together, that could indicate that either the donor has a new rare antigen or the recipient lacks one that most other people have.  In other words, one of them has a rare blood type.  From there, scientists have to track down what actually caused the reaction to figure out what's different about the blood cells involved.  So while we think of human blood as coming in eight flavors, if you were to take into account all of the known antigens in all their possible combinations, there are actually millions of human blood types.  Those eight are just by far the most common.  

H: While Smart Blake was talking, we decided that Blake gets 10,000 points.

B: Oh, why thank you.

H: But you can't win, 'cause you're hosting.

B: Oh, that's true.  And then I'd have to give it to a Patreon Patron and then there are all the tax ramifications of transferring made up points for a semi-existant game show.

H: Right.  That's true.  

B: Okay, so moving on from human blood, let's turn to another delicious liquid: whiskey.  

H: Oh.  Sometimes that's in human blood.  Well, probably not actually whiskey.

B: Not the whole....

H: Not the whole whiskey.

B: Yeah.  Whiskey is made from mashed, fermented cereal grains.

H: Like uh, Captain Crunch?

B: Or Froot Loops, it says here, yeah, and the unicorn thing that they sell at Costco?  That also is included in this.  You can make whiskey from that.  It's not exactly clear who distilled the first whiskey, but many would say that Tennesseeans perfected it, because Tennesseans added a step to the process known as Lincoln County process.  So what happens during this process?  Is it A: aromatic compounds from sweet woods like sugar maple leech into the whiskey, B: new aromatic compounds are made when the booze is heated in the barrel, C: new aromatic compounds form when the booze is vigorously stirred, or D: a significant portion of the--yes, just like that--D: a significant portion of the aromatic compounds are removed by charcoal?  Yes, Mr. Green.

H: I'm going with D....D.

B: Yes.  You're correct.

H: Ah!  Oh.  I'm shocked.  

B: Scotch is only scotch if it's made in Scotland and champagne is only champagne if it comes from the old province of Champagne in France, but the key to making Tennessee whiskey even more than the place is the Lincoln County process.  

 (12:00) to (14:00)

That's the charcoal mellowing step that by law, defines Tennessee whiskey.  Because sugar maple is usually used for the charcoal, you may think that Tennessee whiskey's sweetness comes from the wood, but this process doesn't add sweet flavors.  It actually removes some of the chemicals in the booze, and chemists have only begun to investigate exactly what's taken out.  Researchers at the University of Tennessee studied the chemicals in whiskey that humans can smell, called odorants, and compared them before and after this critical step.  Unsurprisingly, the filtered whiskey had a milder smell, but the researchers were shocked to find that some odorants decreased by up to 30%. So that charcoal really does take a lot out of the booze.  In future studies, researchers hope to vary things like how long the whiskey filters and the ratio of charcoal to whiskey to figure out what makes for the tastiest final product.  Please enjoy this Quiz Show responsibly and now, back to regular dumb Blake.

Quite interesting indeed.  Now let's see what other Patrons were interested in.  Apparently it's monkeys.

H: Ooh, yeah.

B: So this is gonna be a monkey question.

H: Blood, whiskey, monkeys, all the best things.

B: This show has everything.  Monkeys are very smart animals that can learn new behaviors, so it shouldn't be surprising that monkeys that hang around humans do all sorts of weird things, but the closer researchers have looked at wild populations, the more they find that monkeys do surprisingly human things even when they haven't been influenced by us.  Which of the following behaviors has been observed in macaques that have lived around humans and in ones that aren't usually around people?  Is it A: bartering, B: flossing, and it tells me to specify, not dancing but flossing the teeth.

H: Okay.

B: I would empty my pockets to see a monkey flossing.  I would pay--I would give all the money I have to see that.  C: Weaving grasses, D: wearing coverings on their feet.

H: Ooh, I forgot I had to hit the button.

B: Yes sir?

M: A?

H: That's what I was gonna go with.

B: False.

H: You saved me again.  Thank you, Michael.  Uhh, I just had a bunch of fish tacos and I kind of need to floss myself right now, but I--it can't be flossing, right?

B: That's correct.  Flossing their teeth.

H: I said it can't be flossing.

B: Yes.

H: And then you just told me it was.

B: It is.  So you get, I'm giving you those points.  You're welcome.

 (14:00) to (16:00)

H: Wow!  I feel very lucky.

B: I, too, would enjoy seeing a monkey flossing, but it turns out the behavior that's been observed in primates is the kind having to do with dental hygiene.  In monkeys, tooth flossing was first reported among long-tailed macaques in Thailand in 2007, and at the time, it was thought to be a novel behavior, because in general, it was thought that tool use wasn't very common in monkeys.  That was more of an ape thing, but these macaques lived in and around a Buddhist shrine, where there's abundant material for them to work with in the form of human hair, and lo and behold, as scientists observed more populations of monkeys, they came to realize that flossing wasn't unique to the macaques at the shrine.  Japanese macaques have somehow picked up the habit, too.  It has even been observed in macaque populations that don't live alongside people.  In the absence of human hair, monkeys will floss with pretty much anything that's fibrous, from coconut husks to blades of grass to even feathers, but not all monkeys floss, which suggests that it's a learned behavior passed from one monkey to another, and that might also be why female monkeys exaggerate their flossing movements in the presence of their young, which is just adorable.  Back to you, Blake.

I was just so excited that was the right answer.  I was hoping that actually the flossing dancing was going to be the answer.

H: No, yeah, that's also--

B: Like that's been observed in the wild.

H: I mean, a macaque could definitely play Fortnite, no doubt.

B: You think so?

H: Oh, yeah.  Not well.  

B: Would it beat you?

H: It would beat me.

B: Yeah, it would probably beat me, too.  Okay, let's tally the scores.  Hank Green has 1400.  Michael Aranda has 1500.  And the dude has 10,000, and with that, it is time for our final round.  Sharpies out, gentlemen.  This is your chance, because it all comes down to how much you bet and how you answer the question in this last round, which our writer has titled "Waste Not, Want Not" and as it happens, this question was also chosen by our Patrons and it's also about poop.

H: Oh, yeah.  

B: Specifically, bat poop, or as it's often called in more science-y term, guano.  

H: Okay.

B: But first, let's pause for a break.  

Okay, we're back.  Anyone who has ever had bats take up residence in their attic know that bats poop a lot. 

H: Yeah.

B: And--has it happened to you?

H: No, I'm just saying, like, all animals poop a lot.  Like, I poop a lot.

B: Yeah, and good for them, right?

H: Yeah.

B: You've gotta be regular if you wanna be happy.  This makes them an important player in many ecosystems. 

 (16:00) to (18:00)

There are entire cave systems that rely on bat guano, and over the centuries, people have found it to be a very rich and useful substance, too.  Now, which of the following is not a way that people have either used bat guano or are currently investigating using it?  There are, let me see, six choices, so brace yourselves.

M: Goodness gracious.

H: That makes it much harder.  

B: Is it A: explosives, B: adhesives, C: protein powder, D: compost activator, E: detergent booster, or F: livestock feed supplement?  

H: I mean.  

B: (clock ticking sound)  Alright, you ready?  

H: You ready?  We both said C.  

B: And you're both incorrect.

H: Ohh.

B: How much was your wager?

H: All the points.  

B: Oh, all the points.

H: And so did he.  

M: We tied.

H: We tied.

All: Yaaay!

B: (?~16:56) do a high five.

As excreted waste goes, guano is incredibly useful.  That's why people have been mining it and using it for centuries.  It's high in nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, which makes it an excellent fertilizer, and all that nitrogen also makes it the perfect ingredient in explosives.  You see, to make gunpowder, you need potassium nitrate, also known as saltpeter, and bat guano contains a lot of nitrates, which can be extracted and mixed with sulfur and charcoal to make gunpowder.  Really, there are so many uses for guano, it's almost unbelievable.  Scientists have isolated useful enzymes from the bacteria that live in it, which, ew, including potential detergent additives, so yes, bat poop may someday help clean your clothes, and because some bats eat insects, their guano is also an excellet source of chitin, the polysaccharide that makes up insects' exoskeletons.  Chitin and similar molecules have a wide range of applications, some of which are in medicine and food, like protein powder, though it's not at all certain that the chitin found in bat poop could be approved for human consumption.  It might be for livestock, though.  Researchers have considered using it to supplement livestock feeds.  Lots of animals already eat guano, of course.  It's one of the most important foods in cave ecosystems, but as of yet, no one seems to have suggested looking for adhesives in the stuff.  Maybe they will someday.  Who knows?  Back to you, dumb Blake.  

M: I almost went with that one.  

H: I thought about it as well, but I was like, no one would eat protein powder with bat guano in it.

 (18:00) to (19:30)

M: My thought was, shouldn't the bats have used the protein before pooping it out?

H: Right, but I guess if it's a livestock supplement, then like--

B: I don't have my protein powder without bat guano in it.

H: I'm livestock.  

B: I insist on it.  I'm at the juice bar at the gym, and like, please, more bat guano.

H: I believe--I don't doubt it.  I don't doubt you.

M: Daniel, congratulations?

H: Yeah, zero points.

M: Zero points.

H: I thought--wasn't I playing for Daniel?  I was playing for Dan--you were playing for Sandra.

B: You were playing for Sandra.

H: I was playing for Sandra.  You were playing for Daniel.  

M: Yeah.

B: Does it really matter, though.  

H: Apparently not.  

M: 'Cause everybody's a loser.  

B: It says 'You've both emerged victorious today', which is not true, 'but you will both reign as champion of SciShow Quiz Show for some time', and that's because we've decided to revamp our Quiz Shows.  We want to spend some time retooling it, thinking about it, and we'd like input from you, like, what you would like to see.

H: Yeah.

B: Would you like different kinds of questions, different kind of format, a new set, do you not want to ever see me on the show again?  There are a lot of options.  Let us know in the comments.  In the meantime, you can see these fellows still at SciShow every week.  All you have to do is subscribe and you can see me on PBS Eons at