The Zentai Phenomenon: Serial Killer No. 2
By Jeffrey Bishop
The Zentai Phenomenon brings back the serial storytelling style, which peaked in popularity in the daily newspapers and weekly magazines of the early 20th Century, prior to the advent of a large and literate middle class and inexpensive printing of books — and particularly, of paperback books. This serial presents a standard Scurry Tails short story, but will do so over time between Oct. 14 and Nov. 1. The series will use a news clipping motif to “cover” the story in “real time” with the fictional events it represents. Come back often or click Follow below to be sure to receive each new posting in the story as it’s published!
Tell Time: 3 minutes 30 seconds
Scare Rating: 1/5 Ghosts
Material in Zentai Suits Offers Promise to Military, Medical Research
By Jack Johansen
ROCKVILLE, Md. (PA News, Oct. 22, 2012) — The break-through material behind a Halloween costume fad that is sweeping the nation holds incredible promise for a variety of industries, including the military and medicine.
The material in question is found in the colorful zentai full-body stocking costumes distributed by Xeno Imports. Beyond bright colors, a body-hugging fit and a full-body cut, no other zentai costume has the same characteristic material sought by leading researchers in a variety of fields.
While the military itself is being coy about its research, the applications of which would capitalize on the features of the material, analysts told us that the Xeno material has a host of possible military applications.
“We believe our armed forces are exploring the Zentai material for its potential in uniforms, from revolutionary new camouflage systems to lightweight body armor that can be integrated into regular uniforms instead of worn on top, where today’s systems weigh a soldier down and restrict movement,” said Tammy Johnson, senior analyst at the defense think tank PKI.
“We even hear that the Air Force is looking into the material as a skin for their aircraft,” Johnson added. “If the promise of the lightweight, strong and durable fabric holds true — especially if there is an added stealth benefit to its refractive powers — then we could see increases in speed and performance in these aircraft on a scale that would put us into a fifth generation of fighter jets — based on the skin alone.”
Some had speculated that the mystery material originated in the defense arena and leaked into the commercial arena where it was quickly adopted by costumers, but Johnson refutes that.
“This is one of those rare instances where the commercial sector beat defense to a new technology,” she said. “Defense researchers around the globe — in Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Russia, Syria, India, China and Japan — are all experimenting with the material. They all know it has wide applicability, and all of them want to exploit it to a military advantage.”
Indeed, it’s perhaps demand by global military powers that is driving demand and keeping costumers short-handed this Halloween season.
Clinical researchers are also affecting supply and demand, by also exploring the possibilities of the cloth.
Reed Hoskins, a medical research fellow at Witt Maltheau Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, is exploring the fabric as a proxy for human skin for use in medical grafts and for suturing surgical and non-surgical wounds.
“It’s still early yet, but we’ve been able to show in a petri dish that natural skin accepts the Xeno graft,” said Hoskins. “This solution prevents taking natural skin from other parts of the body — which causes injury, risk of infection and disfigurement at that site.
“If it works in clinical trials, our next step will be to ensure we have proper zentai colors on hand to prevent a burn victim from having a big purple patch on his face for the rest of his life,” he added.