How do I get bitcoins?
There are two basic ways to get your hands on this kind of cash: "mining" for bitcoins, or buying them.
To mine for bitcoins you've gotta run software on your computer that solves complex math problems which "unlock" the bitcoins stored away in block chains. Unfortunately, this is time-consuming, there are no guarantees attached, and most PCs aren't equipped to handle it efficiently. Your computer is competing with many others on the same equation, and the odds of yours solving it first are slim. Joining a mining pool, in which your computer supports a group of others handling the mining, ups your chances, but also limits the payment you'll receive, which will have to be split among the group. Assuming the guy running the pool isn't a jerk who decides to keep it all for himself, of course.
For a beginner, you're better off simply buying your bitcoins. Fortunately, you've got some options. Coinbase, which bills itself as "The easiest place to buy bitcoin," lets users link their bank accounts for payment. Trucoin accepts major credit cards, and tends to be one of the faster methods, but isn't available in all states yet. If you want to pay in cash, sites like LocalBitcoins.com connects users who are willing to meet in person to conduct the transaction. They even have ATMs!