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The mysteries of the slow loris; explaining the U.S. presidential election; CM of the week: Mister Donut

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The slow loris is the odd monkey out in the world of primates. Only 30 centimeters in length, the nocturnal creature is well named. Its movements are so slow as to be practically unnoticeable, but that, as it turns out, is important to its evolutionary survival.

The nature show “Darwin ga Kita” (“Here Comes Darwin”; NHK-G, Sun., 7:30 p.m) calls this Southeast Asian critter a “super lazy” ape, but there’s method in its blase attitude. Because it moves so slowly, the insect that it likes to eat doesn’t pay it any mind — until it’s too late.

But slow moving animals have a disadvantage when it comes to predators, so the slow loris has something else no other primate can brag about: a poisonous bite. Also, slow movements means less energy used and thus less food intake.

Master explainer Akira Ikegami goes to America on this week’s episode of “Mirai Seiki Jipangu” (“Future Century Japan”; TV Tokyo, Mon., 10 p.m.) to cover the presidential election and tell his Japanese viewers what it’s all about. What it’s mainly about, he finds, is that Hillary Clinton, who seemed to have the election sewn up this time last year, is up against a potent challenger in Sen. Bernie Sanders. And then there’s the billionaire Donald Trump, who may be even more surprising — or shocking, depending on how you look at it.

Ikegami explains the background of the election and what’s at stake. In particular, he talks about the widening wealth gap and visits Las Vegas where homeless people, called “moles,” live in drainage ditches beneath the glittering city, surviving on refuse. The American economy is improving, so why are these people’s numbers increasing?

CM of the week: Mister Donut

There’s no harm done to certain celebrities when they poke fun at their image in order to make some money. Figure skater Shizuka Arakawa’s performances have always been considered elegant and classical, so she looks a bit ridiculous doing one of her routines with a cruller hanging out of her mouth. It’s not just any cruller, however, it’s Mister Donut’s Pon de Ring, a circular pastry made of very soft dough, so when Arakawa is doing one of her triple axels, the centrifugal force causes the cruller to stretch out. The on-site announcer is impressed. “Look, it’s really stretching,” he says, oblivious to the skater. He must be hungry.