John Openshaw



Most Recent Notes

hospitalfrontbangladeshMy Unhealthy Obsession: Hospital Waste

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last month with my mind in the gutter. And I mean this literally: I’ve spent an extraordinary amount of time worried about trash. Part of this is because Dhaka does have a huge waste problem: the city generates over 4,000 tons of waste per day...


lungisbangladeshThe Foreigner's Guide to Lungi Wearing

I recently took the plunge and bought myself a lungi. Tubular pieces of cloth worn around the waist, these versatile garments allow unrestricted movement and open a whole new world of stylish dress options. I don’t really see many foreigners wearing lungis in Dhaka, which I think is too bad...

bangladeshjungleVirus Hunting: Where to Search?

In our search for new zoonotic viral diseases (viruses that spread from animals to people) over the last few months, perhaps one of the most difficult questions has been where to look. It would probably be best to find a place where animals and people live in close association...

boyandpumpdhakabangladeshSlideshow: Water Quality

This set of pictures is dedicated to water use and water quality around Dhaka: from the modern to the historic. I wanted to start with the usual state of the water coming out of the faucet in my bathroom. I’ve placed a plastic cup to catch the water so you can see that it’s not exactly clear...

dhakaoldbuildingwindowLife in Dhaka's Dilapidated Palaces

It’s hard not to notice the rotting old 18th and 19th century fronts of Dhaka’s old town. Ghosts of a bygone era, the neoclassical facades provide a reminder of the city that Dhaka once was. Now the palatial buildings — victims of political strife and poverty — stand in stately disrepair.

bangladeshpaperrecyclingSlideshow: Tracing Paper

Exploring the honeycomb of markets and stalls throughout Old Dhaka, one can trace the route of paper from the press to the wall to the scrap heap and, finally, to musty rooms where it is shredded and collected for recycling.