Hi, and welcome! And no worries-- this site specializes in barrages of questions.
Personally, I wouldn't even begin with a scarf-- I'd just begin with knitting. That is, just get some fun yarn and a pair of needles and just practice for a bit, without thinking of it ever becoming "something".
I would highly recommend getting a pair of 10" (length) size 8/5mm or 9/5.5mm (diameter) needles. A lot of people do suggest starting on 10/6mm or 10.5/6.5mms, but when I've taught people to knit, I've found that slightly smaller seems to work better for them (I should also mention that this site specializes in people with very different experiences and opinions:) !). There are some very brightly colored plastic sets which are tempting, but I would steer away from them-- the plastic is a little harder to work with for a beginner, IMO. A previous poster recommended bamboo, but the only problem is that there are very cheap bamboo needles which won't be good to start with, and then better quality, but it may be hard for a beginner to figure what is what. I would get a pair of Boye or Susan Bates, such as http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat2868&PRODID=prd12407.
As for yarn-- I think worsted weight is the best for starting. Some people prefer bulky for beginning, but again, in my experience teaching people to knit, the worsted is more manageable. I think acryllic is the best for just learning. Also, I would get something light colored, so that you can see your stitches better, and even better, something bright and multi-colored; you'll get the best sense of each stitch, and it's more fun, too! Such as the colors Crayon or Sherbet or Bikini in this: http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat2866&PRODID=prd25204
Once you're comfortable with knitting, then a scarf is a great place to start. They take a while-- you're knitting a few feet of fabric! But the simplest. For the future, after that I would then try a simple hat, then mittens, and then socks, and THEN a sweater, in that order. Those first small projects are wonderful ways to learn all the different techniques and garment construction without having, well, a few feet of something to work on:) .
And one last word of advice-- you are trying something brand new with its own language, and so just don't get frustrated when it takes a little bit to get the hang of it, or when something comes up and you think you've hit a wall. No one is born knitting, we've all gone through the learning process, and no question is too silly. . .sometimes new knitters don't know what to do when they come to the end of the needle! (Answer-- take the right hand needle and put it in your left hand, and visa versa, and start all over again-- this is your next row:) .) This site also specializes in great help and support and everyone will walk you through it all!
And PS-- I just gave the links from Joann's so that you could see what I was talking about, but you can get this stuff at Michaels or AC Moore or Hobby Lobby, etc.