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The Merge Show

The English language is awash in portmanteaus, words or sounds that merge together to create something new. Spoon and fork combine to make spork, breakfast and lunch join to create brunch. Merging words, sounds or celebrity names is easy. Other types of mergers? Not so much.  Today’s show is all about what happens when two things become one - and from traffic lanes, to company buy-outs, to organ transplants, we’ll discover that merging is anything but simple.

The Colbert Report
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Listen to the full show.

Merging Finances

Financial discussions are the leading cause of stress in relationships, with many couples choosing to passive aggressively seethe, or avoid the topic all together. We spoke to Liz Weston, nationally syndicated finance columnist, to get some advice on when couples should buckle down and have “The Money Talk.”

Merging Finances

Merging Organs

Credit Logan Shannon

Word of Mouth producer Logan Shannon and her husband Derek Janiak had the dreaded money talk before they got married and opted not to merge their bank accounts. And while Logan will tell you that the financial conversation they had was definitely an uncomfortable one, it was nothing compared to the talk they had when they decided to share an organ. Logan and Derek spoke with Dr. James Pomposelli, Surgical Director of Transplantation at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center.

Related: A Husband A Wife A Liver

Merging Organs

Merging Storms

Weather is an amorphous, often unpredictable force, with the potential for devastation in the form of hurricanes, nor’easters and tornadoes... So what happens when two separate storms merge into one? Jason Samenow is the weather editor for the Washington Post.  

Related: Winter Weather Hype

Merging Storms


The Daily Show
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Rises and falls in the business world can be volatile and hard to predict. Companies form, companies fail and mergers seem to come in waves. We decided to talk to our tech expert Rob Fleischman about what it’s like to be on the front lines of a merger.


Merging Songs

The song is beautiful example of the artistry of merging sound and ideas, but mash-up artists do it a little differently…they take two or more riffs or completed songs and merge them together to make something entirely different, yet strangely evocative of the original. Andrew Davis brings us a brief evolution of the musical mash-up.

You can listen to this story again at

Here's an example of a mash-up by Pomplamousse :


To merge early or not to merge early, that is the question. We decided to consult someone who wrote a book on traffic to find out why the art of the merge is so heavy with meaning, judgment, and guilt. Tom Vanderbilt writes about design, technology, science and culture, and his most recent book is Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)You can read an excerpt here


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