Should we ban the suspects?

The issue of linking falling sperm counts and environmental pollution is dogged by the difficulties of proving that a cause has a certain effect. There are some scientists who have even cast doubt on whether the effect in question - the failing reproductive health of men - is genuine.

how to fly fish

If there are five million fishermen in this country there must be something in it. Starting from a position of total ignorance I decided, nonetheless, to start at the top and took myself to the Hugh Falkus School of Casting where they teach a one-day course for trout fishing and a two- day course for salmon.

Letter: Milk into water

Sir: The crime for which Thoreau claimed that finding "trout in the milk" offered strong circumstantial evidence (Diary, 3 July) was watering the milk - an offence once familiar enough to feature in Under Milk Wood ("Ocky Milkman ... his milk's fresh as the dew. Half dew it is"), now a low-fat virtue promoted by the slimming industry.

Diary RUTH DUDLEY EDWARDS

Interviewed about his health in the London Evening Standard last week, the newscaster John Humphrys remarked: "Glasses are a complete bloody nightmare ... I'm always losing them or sitting on them. I refuse to walk down the road with them hanging on a bit of string round my neck. That is the ultimate admission of getting old, isn't it?"

Rich pickings with a catch

fishing lines

Weird scenes from an enchanted isle

Jan Morris explores magic, mystery and the strange dream life of Corsica's sinister shamans The Dream-Hunters of Corsica Dorothy Carrington Weidenfeld £20

Costly nibble at the bank

fishing lines

Delights after the defrost

fishing lines

Salmon stuffer is a good skin

fishing lines

Fly in the face of convention

Fishing lines

Fishing Lines: Time off and bad behaviour

A FRIEND, who had better remain nameless, came to me last week with a problem that every angler dreads. Having told his office and family that he was calling on clients, he sloped off for a quiet day's fishing. It's a manoeuvre he has got away with several times in the past. I've often been his alibi, should wife or boss check on his movements. 'Sorry, but you've just missed him. No, he didn't say where he was going next . . . '

Todays, Number: 113

The trout caught by the England team in the international fly-fishing competition on the Lake of Menteith, Scotland. England's winning total weighed 123lb 8oz. Scotland were second with 108 fish.

EXHIBITIONS / Recording artist: Don van Vliet, the artist, is now back in touch with Captain Beefheart, the legend. Robert Hanks spots the difference

When he was a boy, back in Glendale, California, in the Forties and Fifties, Don van Vliet wanted to be a sculptor; at the age of 13, he even won a scholarship to study in Europe. But his parents thought that was kind of cissy, and wouldn't let him. Instead, he went off to become Captain Beefheart, performing upright, manly blues-stroke-dada-stroke-field hollers- stroke-atonal collective improvisation with his Magic Band. Presumably his parents wished they'd left well alone.

Trout killed

UP TO 100,000 mature trout at a fish farm were thought to have been killed by a river pollution incident involving slurry from a dairy farm on the river Camel in north Cornwall.

Exhibitions Special: Re-Achieving naivety: Today's arts pages are devoted to the visual. We begin with probably the only full-time painter who used to be a mythical figure in music. Once Captain Beefheart, now plain Don Van Vliet, he is soon to exhibit in Brighton. Ben Thompson sent him a fax

DON VAN VLIET lives in the small and beautifully named town of Trinidad in Northern California, up by the Oregon border, 135 ft from the ocean. He paints there. He is a painter of note - 'Stand Up to Be Discontinued', the second British exhibition of his work, arrives in Brighton in September to confound anyone who doubts this - but he used to be a painter of notes.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment