Tony Gangi gave up a successful career in publishing in order to impale himself.
With his wife Suzanne's permission, he went from having a secure 9 to 5 job to following his dream of wowing audiences by doing shock-worthy things to his own body.
"Ladies and gentlemen, what I'm about to do is a 4,000-year-old art and it's known as sword swallowing," Gangi, also known as The Amazing Human Head, tells a crowd at a Salem, Mass., performance. "Oh no!" a child in the audience exclaims.
Fifteen miles from the border of Mexico, the city of El Centro in California's Imperial Valley has something most hard luck small towns don't: the Blue Angels.
For 45 years, the city has been the winter training home of the Navy's flight demonstration squadron. The "Blues," as the locals call them, have been an enduring source of pride for the desert community.
The "hay bales" is a dusty crop field a stone's throw from the runways of El Centro's Naval Air Facility. Lisa Gallinat has been watching the Blue Angels from here ever since she was a kid.
Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University, testifies Thursday about contraceptives and insurance coverage during a hearing before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
Congress is in recess this week, but that didn't stop House Democrats from holding a hearing to take testimony from a Georgetown law student who was barred from testifying in last week's hearing about President Obama's policy on contraceptives, health insurance and religiously affiliated organizations.
There's a civil war going on in California. It's the north vs. the south — Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley. And much like that other American Civil War, there are two different economic worldviews at stake. One of the highest-profile battles was fought last month, when large Internet sites like Wikipedia staged an online blackout to protest anti-piracy bills in Congress.
The north won that battle, and for now, the legislation is on hold. But the war between Hollywood and Silicon Valley over how to deal with intellectual property is far from over.
War correspondents traditionally covered conflicts by traveling with armies. Here, Associated Press reporter Chris Tomlinson, (right) is shown with U.S. forces in Iraq in 2003. But in many modern wars, reporters operate solo on the rebel side of the fighting, which raises the risks.
Veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin often traveled by herself to the frontlines of conflicts to interview civilians trapped by war. Colvin, who was killed Wednesday in the Syrian city of Homs, is shown here in Cairo in an undated photo.
When New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid died in Syria last week of an apparent asthma attack, he was traveling on foot, and the photographer working with him had to carry Shadid's body across the border into Turkey.
In the besieged Syrian city of Homs, the intense fighting has made it impossible to immediately send home the body of Marie Colvin, the American reporter for Britain's Sunday Times, who was killed Wednesday in a shelling attack by Syrian government forces.