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the 2012 Olympic Games

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Throughout the year, political pundits have obsessed over delegates, the people who come to the Republican National Convention from every state to vote for their party’s nominee. Before the convention, they were faceless numbers—prizes to be won in primaries. In Tampa, they’ve proven to be a diverse and enthusiastic cast of characters, coming from a wide variety of occupations and age groups.

We asked each one to tell us about the most vital issues at stake in this year’s election. Most are obsessed with the economy. Some are fixated on the country’s “moral decline.” And a rare few sport wardrobes worthy of the theater (or at least Halloween). Most delegates support Mitt Romney, but there are exceptions holding on to Ron Paul.

Photographer Grant Cornett roamed the convention center in Tampa, capturing members of each delegation. His portraits reveal a cross section of the people who make up the Grand Old Party of 2012.

Related: The DNC in Pictures: The Delegates by Grant Cornett

Katy Steinmetz is a reporter in TIME’s Washington bureau. In addition to working on features for TIME and, she contributes to TIME’s Swampland, Healthland and NewsFeed blogs.

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SCHOOL STAMPEDE: Thousands of young people desperate to study—and their parents—pushed their way to the gates of the University of Johannesburg in South Africa Tuesday, where some 11,000 people were expected to vie for as few as 800 spots. One woman died in the crush. (Adrian de Kock/Associated Press)

WARMING UP A VEHICLE: A stranded driver burned a fire under his truck to keep parts of the vehicle warm while he waited for the Srinagar-Jammu highway to reopen in Qazigund, India, Tuesday. The mountainous highway had been closed because of heavy snow. (Fayaz Kabli/Reuters)

STUNNED: A man injured in a bomb blast put on his shoe before being taken to a hospital. A bomb targeting a militia opposed to the Pakistani Taliban exploded in a market close to the Afghan border Tuesday, killing 25 people in Pakistan’s Khyber region. (Qazi Rauf/Associated Press)

IN MEMORIAM: Flowers lay on the desk of state Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce in Trenton, N.J., Tuesday. The 75-year-old collapsed and died as the 214th legislative session came to an end Monday night. Gov. Chris Christie delayed his State of the State speech to eulogize the lawmaker. (Mel Evans/Associated Press)

BENT BACK: The Netherlands’ Epke Zonderland competed at the Visa International Gymnastics competition in London Tuesday. The competition is the final chance for gymnasts to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games, being held this summer in London. (Eddie Keogh/Reuters)

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TEDxHuntsville - Daniel Crosby - You're Not That Great: A Motivational Speech

DANIEL CROSBY Daniel Crosby is founder of IncBlot Organizational Psychology, a management consultancy headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama. IncBlot is comprised of a team of organizational psychologists with expertise in helping business select exceptional people, perfect their existing talent base through coaching and training, and persuade through leveraging behavioral science. IncBlot works with an exceptional group of businesses including Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney, Guardian Life Insurance, Grant Thornton, Raytheon, Appleton Learning, and Digium. Daniel is a Huntsville native schooled at Brigham Young and Emory Universities. Dr. Crosby is a featured contributor for and the Huntsville Times as well as a performance psychologist for Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. AboutTEDx In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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Summer weather brings people together outside to enjoy music festivals, county fairs, carnivals and religious observations. I've gathered here some recent images of these celebrations, including a flaming horseman in Kyrgyzstan, Bastille Day in France, a German fun park inside a former nuclear power plant, and much more. [39 photos]

A girl on her father's shoulders looks through a maze of sunflowers growing in a field during a three-day sunflower festival in the town of Nogi, Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo, on July 24, 2011. A total of some 200,000 sunflowers welcomed guests for the summer festival, an annual draw for the small town. (Kazuhuro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

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