Hydro-Phobic vs Hydro-Philic: a Social Model

Water_Beads_by_MonochromeTearSo lately I’ve been wanting to learn more stuff, like the free open intro to Biology: The Secret of Life course given free online from MIT through EdX.  I’m writing this just to get down my ideas of how to remember and understand the difference between a hydrophobic (water-fearing, water beads up on it) vs hydrophilic (water-loving, water spreads out and soaks in) material or molecules.  So here’s the story:

So we’ve got this couple, a guy and a girl, the guy (Hydrogen) has Asperger’s like me so people don’t relate to him very well, and conversations don’t last very long with him (doesn’t attract electrons).  The girl, though, (Oxygen), she’s outgoing and extroverted, all smiles and friendly tones, and people love her, they flock around her (attracts electrons).  So this relationship between the couple, is very *Polar*, it’s heavy-sided, and off-balance: all the friends flock around her, and ignore him.  This is a “polar molecule”.  The electron friends are not evenly distributed among the members, they’re all crunched up in one part and leaving other parts lonely.

So that’s a Polar Molecule. The action is all uneven.  But, at least friends are being had, being attracted toward the couple.  They collectively get more electrons, so the couple is hydro-philic.  Polar is one kind of Hydrophilic.  There’s a second kind of water-lover too:

Now imagine a community church group that wants to feed starving kids in India or help build homes for Syrian refugees.  This is a sad cause, and makes you feel bad. Bad enough to want to help the cause, and give money or wood or electrons.  This group is negatively charged, and they attract people to join up with them, tugging at their heart strings.  This group is like a *Charged* molecule.  It needs electron help desperately, and attracts free electrons to come join in.

Similarly, you could have another community group that was able to collect lots of donations and help from empathetic-minded people with resources to spare.  They’ve got a load of helpful electrons, hot steamy pots of porridge and warm cots and two-by-four wood to build shacks.  They instantly interact with the community, and the needy soak up all that desperately needed wool blankets and shoes.  This group is like a *Positively* Charged Molecule.  Still Hydro-Philic (attracting people, interacting), but this time it’s giving away stuff, rather than pulling donations in.

So there’s two kinds of hydrophilic: Polar, and Charged.  and the Charged could be either positive or negative, but either way, very interactive.  There’s just one thing left- hydrophobic.

This poor family are a sour bunch, some cousins and siblings who all hate each other but would never leave each other either, and be the first to jump up and defend them against an insult. “Only I get to talk down to her that way, you jibby farber punch meat!”  Then he turns around and slaps her around too, just cuz he can.  These people are awful.  Redneck hillbilly clans that as soon as you meet them, you want to turn around and leave.  They can stick to themselves in their creepy holler doin god-knows-what.  These molecules will sequester themselves inside a protein, not interacting with untrusted “ferners” and yankees and hippy liberals-damn them all to hell fer killin american freedom with their socialism!

So that’s hydro-phobic.  Phobic, fear, isolation, clan hiding inside the mountains.  “Trespassers will be shot!” kind of stuff.  Stay away.

Anyway, that helps me clear up the ideas in my head, the difference between hydrophobic and hydrophilic, and the two kinds of hydrophilic.  Just make them funny or crazy people or animals, give them some character. That’s memorable.  Hope you enjoyed.


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