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.
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.