Little Twitch Respect Due
Despite his down-and-dirty, cynical, and hot-tempered personality, Sam is essentially a good man, with a strong sense of duty and honor. His straightforward ways have often put the detective duo at odds with even their fellow police, but while Twitch is considerably more reasonable than his larger partner (and often pokes fun at Sam's fiery temperament and statements), he shows a deep trust and respect for him as well. While Twitch often figures out and solves the duo's various cases and predicaments, Sam is unquestionably the drive and conviction which sees the two through.
Maximilian Steven Percival "Twitch" Williams III is mainly seen as the "brains" of the partnership. He is the one who usually solves or puts the pieces together in the rare crimes the detectives encounter. A brilliant mathematician who excelled at trigonometry, he has used his knowledge of angles to become an excellent marksman. A shooting prodigy, Twitch makes up for his small size with his ability to handle twin pistols with extreme accuracy and efficiency. He claims to have earned the nickname "Twitch", as Sam once said, "because he doesn't, ever!" In reality, "Twitch" was his despised high-school nickname, which Sam learned after intercepting a reunion invitation asking for "Twitch" Williams. He refers to Sam Burke as "sir", as throughout the years Sam has, time and time again, earned his trust and respect.
Twitch was once married and has several children, but due to his busy schedule with crime cases, his wife eventually divorced him, and denies him custody of his kids. This had a great emotional impact on Twitch, but did not seem to hinder him from his work. He eventually reconciled with his wife and since then does his best to spend as much time with his family as his duty allows. Twitch comes from a family with a proud tradition in law enforcement, his father and siblings all being cops themselves. Despite his reserved and soft-spoken manner, he is extremely passionate and proud of his job, in some ways more so than Sam. It is because of this that, despite his incredible intelligence, the apparent rampant corruption of the Police Department, which he works for, troubles him greatly. In some ways, Twitch is a little more naïve than the street-smart and more realistic Sam, and has had to deal with many harsh truths.
Sam and Twitch were originally introduced in the comic book series Spawn as tertiary characters to the larger storyline of Al Simmons. The duo were at first at odds with Al, both due to Al's questionable methods and personality and Al's own distrust of the police. Eventually however, they had come to form a mutual respect and Al often sought help from the two, seeing them as two of the only people, cops, no less, that he could actually trust. Even after the detectives' own spin-off series had started the two often made appearances in Spawn.
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1. The effects of caffeine (0.2-20 mmol l-1) have been examined on calcium transients (measured with aequorin) and isometric force in intact bundles of fibres from soleus (slow-twitch) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL; fast-twitch) muscles of the rat. 2. At 25 degrees C, threshold caffeine concentration for an observable increase in resting [Ca2+]i was 0.2 and 1.0 mmol l-1 for soleus and EDL muscles respectively. Increases in resting force were first detectable at about 0.5 mmol l-1 caffeine for soleus muscles and 5.0 mmol l-1 caffeine for EDL muscles and occurred in the range 0.2-0.4 mumol l-1 [Ca2+]i for soleus and 0.7-0.9 mumol l-1 for EDL. 3. Caffeine potentiated the twitch responses of soleus and EDL in a dose-related manner. The soleus was more sensitive in this respect, with 50% potentiation occurring at 1 mmol l-1 caffeine compared with 3.5 mmol l-1 for the EDL. Concentrations of caffeine below 2 mmol l-1 potentiated Ca2+ transients associated with twitches in both soleus and EDL muscles with no apparent change in the decay rate constant. 4. High concentrations of caffeine (greater than 2 mmol l-1) further potentiated peak Ca2+ in the EDL but depressed it in the soleus. The rate of decay of the Ca2+ transient in high caffeine was significantly prolonged in the soleus but remained unaffected in the EDL. 5. The phosphodiesterase inhibitor, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) had little effect on force or [Ca2+]i at concentrations known to significantly increase intracellular cyclic AMP levels. 6. The Ca2+ transient during fused tetani was characterized by an initial peak, a decline to a plateau level and sometimes a gradual rise towards the end of the stimulus train. Peak [Ca2+]i during normal tetani ranged between 1.1 and 2.4 mumol l-1 in the soleus and 1.9 and 4.0 mumol l-1 in the EDL. 7. Caffeine potentiated both force and [Ca2+]i during tetanus. Since the increase of the Ca2+ transient was significantly greater than potentiation of force, it is likely that saturation of myofilaments occurs. The primary effect of caffeine on the Ca2+ transient was an elevation of the plateau phase. 8. Caffeine concentrations below 5 mmol l-1 potentiate twitch and tetanic force in both fast- and slow-twitch mammalian skeletal muscles primarily by increasing both the basal and stimulus-evoked release of Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum.
The results support several novel conclusions. (i) The amplitude of Δ[Ca2+] in slow-twitch fibres stimulated by action potentials is about an order of magnitude larger than that found previously (Carroll et al. 1997; Liu et al. 1997). (ii) The peak rate of SR Ca2+ release in slow-twitch fibres is also about an order of magnitude larger than previously reported in cut fibres depolarized by voltage clamp (Delbono & Meissner, 1996). (iii) The time course of SR Ca2+ release is similar in slow-twitch and fast-twitch fibres, although the peak rate of SR Ca2+ release in slow-twitch fibres is only about one-third of that in fast-twitch fibres. (iv) With a high frequency train of action potentials, inactivation of SR Ca2+ release occurs with subsequent action potentials in the train and the extent of inactivation is similar in slow-twitch and fast-twitch fibres. (v) The latter two findings, in combination with three other reported findings, namely (a) a 2.4-fold larger concentration of RYRs in fast-twitch fibres compared with slow-twitch fibres (Franzini-Armstrong et al. 1988); (b) a structural similarity between the triadic junctions in the two fibre types (Cullen et al. 1984); and (c) the presence of a common RYR isoform in the two fibre types (RYR1; Otsu et al. 1993; Damiani & Margreth, 1994; Murayama & Ogawa, 1997), support the conclusion that individual SR Ca2+ release units function similarly in the two fibre types.
To reduce movement artifacts in the fluorescence records, the fibre bundles were stretched to long sarcomere lengths (range, 3.3-4.1 μm). Although it is possible that stretch alters the properties of Δ[Ca2+], the alterations are not expected to be large. This follows from the work of Konishi et al. (1991) on frog twitch fibres, where the properties of Δ[Ca2+] differed in only minor ways between sarcomere lengths of 2.5 and 4.0 μm.
The isometric twitch tension was monitored with a tension transducer (SensoNor, Horten, Norway) attached to the tendon at one end of the fibre bundle. The strength of the external stimulus was adjusted to be just supra-threshold for the detection of an all-or-none Ca2+ signal from the indicator-injected fibre (see below). The use of a just supra-threshold stimulus minimized the twitch amplitude from the bundle and thus also reduced movement-related artifacts in the fluorescence records. The recorded twitch tension arose from the injected fibre and an unknown (but small) number of other fibres. Because the cross-sectional area of the fibres that contributed to the tension response was not determined, the amplitudes of the tension records have been left uncalibrated.
Similar measurements of Δ[Ca2+] and tension were recorded in five experiments with soleus muscle. Column 2 of Table 1 gives the mean ± S.E.M. values of several parameters measured in these experiments. For comparison, column 3 gives the values measured from 11 experiments with EDL at the same temperature. With both soleus and EDL muscles, the values in columns 2 and 3 of Table 1 reveal a tight distribution about their means. Significant differences between fibre types were detected in the values of peak amplitude and half-duration of Δ[Ca2+] (see asterisks in column 3). The peak amplitude in soleus fibres is about 0.5 times that in EDL fibres (9.4 and 18.5 μM, respectively) whereas the half-duration in slow-twitch fibres is about 1.6 times that in fast-twitch fibres (7.7 and 4.9 ms, respectively). In contrast, the times to half-rise and to peak of Δ[Ca2+] are virtually identical in the two fibre types. As expected, the parameters that describe the time course of the tension responses are all significantly larger in the soleus (slow-twitch) fibres than in the EDL (fast-twitch) fibres (see asterisks in Table 1).
A, Δ[Ca2+] and twitch tension averaged from four experiments with soleus muscle (dotted lines, identified by arrows) and seven experiments with EDL muscle (continuous lines) of the type illustrated in Fig. 1. The selected experiments had minimal contamination of the Δ[Ca2+] signal by movements artifacts. The mean diameter of the fibres was 37 ± 6 μm for soleus and 41 ± 2 μm for EDL muscle. Where necessary, records were temporally shifted (average shift, 1 data point = 0.5 ms) to align the rising phases of the Δ[Ca2+] signals. The total number of Δ[Ca2+] responses averaged was 31 for soleus and 13 for EDL. The slow-twitch Δ[Ca2+] record has a peak amplitude of 8.0 μM, a time to half-rise of 3.4 ms, a time to peak of 4.5 ms and a half-duration of 7.6 ms; the corresponding values for the fast-twitch record are 18.2 μM, 3.5 ms, 4.5 ms and 4.8 ms, respectively. The tension response from each experiment was scaled to unity amplitude prior to averaging. The slow-twitch tension record has a time to half-rise of 38 ms, a time to peak of 184 ms and a half-duration of 767 ms; the corresponding values for the fast-twitch record are 17 ms, 54 ms and 215 ms, respectively. B, same traces as in A displayed on a faster time base and with the slow-twitch Δ[Ca2+] scaled to have the same peak amplitude as that of the fast-twitch Δ[Ca2+]. Temperature, 16 °C. 781b155fdc