"Professor Dumpster" Invents Movable Home

January 3, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. dumpster / ˈdʌmp stər / (n.) – a large metal container for trash
Example: You should stay away from dumpsters because they’re dirty.

2. revolutionary / ˌrɛv əˈlu ʃəˌnɛr I /  (adj.) – new or innovative
Example: Televisions were revolutionary at the time they were invented.

3. distinguish / dɪˈstɪŋ gwɪʃ / (v.) – to know that something is different
Example: His achievements in his company distinguished him from other employees.

4. crisis / ˈkraɪ sɪs / (n.) – a dangerous situation requiring attention
Example:  There was an energy crisis in the country a few years ago.

5.  gear / gɪər / (v.) – to make something for a specific audience or situation
Example: This new smartphone is geared toward female professionals.


Read the text below.
Dr. Jeff Wilson, better known as "Professor Dumpster", has invented a smart home called Kasita that can be moved from city to city.

The professor, who got his nickname from living in a 33-square-foot dumpster for a year, used his experience to come up with this revolutionary housing model.  Like most homes, it has facilities such as a walk-in shower, refrigerator, washer, convection oven, dryer, full kitchen, and a slide-out queen size bed.

It can be distinguished from other homes, however, by two features. The first is its “mobile” feature. The 208-square-foot structure is designed to fit into a rack that provides electricity and water.  Once there are racks in different cities, moving is only a matter of requesting a move using a phone app. Upon receiving a call, the company will slide the unit out from its 1,000-square-foot metal framework, load it into the bed of a moving truck, transport it, and insert it into a new rack.

The second is its “smart" feature. Not only can it adjust the temperature and lighting, it can also play your favorite music. It can also obey some voice commands.

Kasita is meant by Dr. Wilson to be a solution to the housing crisis.  It is also geared towards professionals, although there are also plans for student-specific models. The first few units are planned to be built in Austin, Texas, no earlier than the spring of 2016, and more Kasitas are expected to be fully constructed in 10 other cities by 2017.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do people often move to new cities in your country? Why or why not?
·         What are some advantages/disadvantages of moving to a new house?

Discussion B

·         How do you think houses will look like in the future?
·         Describe a house you would like to live in. Use as much detail as possible.

January 3, 2016