Slice of SciFi #287: Conversation with Troy Ruptash (“30 Days of Night: Dark Days”)


  • President Barack Obama will be on “Mythbusters” later this year.
  • Want to tan without harmful UV rays?ย  We’ve got details on how it might be possible.
  • Find out more about the steampunk series “Riese: Kingdom Falling”

Special Segment: Nigel’s back with more news you need to know.

Movie Talk:

  • Helen Mirren talks about her role in “Red”
  • Reboot Rage: “Hellraiser”

Slice of Trivia: Kurt is back with some scary new trivia. Can you guess it before the studio crew does? And don’t forget to send your clips to sliceoftrivia at gmail dot com.

TV Talk: Marvel talks about their plan for TV.

Interview: Actor Troy Ruptash (a.k.a. “Mr. October”) stops by and talks with the studio gang about his latest horror film project “30 Days of Night: Dark Days” which is based on the successful comic book series.

In the Future:

  • More Reboot Rage: “Rocky Horror Picture Show”
  • Daniel Radcliffe would like to appear in a Harry Potter reboot.

Listener comments: If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know. Keep your comments brief, or funny, and maybe you’ll hear your message on the voicemail show! See you next week with fresh new content.

Promo: EvilleCon 2011

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  1. says

    Time for me to disagree with my on-air compadres as it concerns the physics in “No Ordinary Family”. As a member of the field of medical physics for more years then I care to mention I have to say that, for the most part, the writers of that show have gotten it correct.

    Examples sited by Michael, Brian, GirlSam and Tim included the human eye and camera lens not seeing the wife as she zipped into her lab and changed the blood sample. The other was the complaint that football is really all math and that someone of the young boy’s size (math genius or not) wouldn’t be able to accomplish what he did on the show in the real world.

    Keeping in mind that this is a television scifi show and not reality I will endeavor to clear a few things up and perhaps by doing so will allow my colleagues the opportunity to put the show back in their TiVo or DVR queues.

    The wife’s ability to run into the lab, stop, open the cabinet door and exchange the blood sample without being detected by the human eye or camera lens is a simple case of what we call in physics time dilation with gravitational flux. In lay terms it goes something like this: If two objects are traveling in the same direction, parallel to one another at exactly the same speed (and all other factors such as air density, water air vapor and resistance caused by such) are equal then both objects will be able to see each other as clearly as if they were standing still. However, if any one factor is off by even as much as a micron then each would be completely invisible and undetectable by the other. When something, or in the case of this TV show, someone travels at the speed she is then due to the time dilation curve she will be totally invisible to both the human eye and camera lens, and if she is traveling fast enough (but less than the speed of light) then there is no video camera commercially available that can be slowed enough to see much more than an indistinguishable blur. There are some digital stop action cameras that may do the trick however. As far as her stopping, opening the door and changing the vial without being detected, that is possible as a result of the gravitational flux inherent in something traveling so fast and stopping instantly then speeding away once again at astronomical speed. What the naked eye and camera lens sees is just a slight warping of the air molecules around the event, which is exactly what was portrayed in the show. All the camera lens caught was a slight warbled-effect of the blood vial. We see this kind of effect daily under the super-electron microscope while observing the effects of fast traveling gamma photons on the molecular environment they come into contact with. We don’t actually see the photon as much as we see the warbled (or decay) effect on the electrons they interact with. In molecular imaging we use this effect to create digital images of molecular physiology going on inside a human cellular structure.

    Now to the football scenario. In truth football is all math. in fact, ask any football coach and they will admit to it. That is what the coach’s playbook is, a set of plays based on the mathematical probabilities for any given set of circumstances on the field. All the boy in the show is doing is actually seeing within his mind the geometrical constance that each possible play entails, working them out almost instantly in his head and making his body follow suit. It is a simple case of geometry, calculus and trig put into practical play. So, yes, while it helps to be a big bruiser to play football, especially on the line, the quarterback (which is the position the boy was playing) need not be, but if he has a head for math (and a great throwing arm – which this kid proves he has) then that quarterback, as long as his line defends him, will be unstoppable. So, my friends, it is — as our teachers have always tried to tell us — ALL ABOUT THE MATH!

    Now to one area of physics where the show has gotten it wrong. The father (Michael Chiklis). There is no way he could jump a quarter of a mile and land on top of any kind of roof that is made of normal construction building material and not go plowing through it, especially the flat tar roofs he was landing on in the pilot episode and in the 1st full episode. Fortunately is seems the writers are now dealing with that by having him landing with much better control of his vector angle and mostly landing on hard ground now.

    I hope this helps explain how they have gotten some of the physics correct on the show, but like any television program there is always room for improvement.

    OK studio gang, you can start watching again with a clear conscience.

  2. VyseN1 says


    Don’t you know that some of the teabaggers on the show don’t care about annoying things like science and facts?

  3. kurt_eh says

    But Sam, if she was running with enough speed to achieve that effect, she’d fly off the face of the planet!

    Escape velocity for LEO flight is only Mach 24, after all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (If anyone is wondering the speed of light = mach 881,022.7)

    Why am I even in on this, NOF is on a curling night (and against Eureka — SPACE is finally airing the new season— and/or Caprica). ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. says

    @kurt_eh: Are you forgetting the velcro-bottomed shoes she wears to keep her planted on the planet (pardon the pun). :)

  5. Marc de Puma says

    Nice article, but I would have thought persistence of vision would have been the answer to the camera not seeing her do stuff. We saw her move and change the vial, but that was because the audience was temporarily brought into her time frame. The time it took for her to change the vial was very short, so short that the camera could not capture it. Nor would human eyes see it. Doesn’t matter if she comes to a complete stop, if she then moves on before the threshold time needed for cameras and eyes to see occurs. No need for time dilation and gravity flux,.

    As for the son being able to be a great quarterback, you made an unsupported assumption, that before he got the super power he had a great throwing arm. Nothing shown, or alluded to, in the show supports this assertion. So while I agree with your premise, it’s all math, remember, math shows you the way, but you still need to walk it. In this case, knowing what plays to run, and the angles and power with which to throw the ball isn’t enough. you need the agility and strength to pull it off.

    Having said this, here is my further thought. The son stated that his power is having a super mind. That is what the show has shown us. What, however, if this is not the case? Or rather, imagine if the super mind is but a component of the power. What if the power the son has actually allows him to put into action what his brain comes up with. In other words, like Mimic from Heroes, when the sun comes up with a solution in his brain for a problem, his body becomes able to actualise it? The ability to throw a football the way he does in the show is well within his body’s limit, he just never has been shown to practice it,.

    We are talking super powers here, more fantasy than science fiction. If you consider what the other three members of his family can do, and what we’ve seen of the other supers, my suggestion is far from being too much. Of course, that is one solution to the apparent incongruity of the son’s powers, and I may be giving the writers way too much credit. My point, we don’t know yet, let us not assume all has been revealed yet. Though, it might. :)