As the family IT guy, most of what I do is fix the damage done by free games. My cousins teenage kids seem to ruin their laptops by installing hundreds of adware programs on their computers which eventually destroy it. Perhaps this would end this trend of destruction.
I am *so* stealing that warning. It's a far more concise explanation than I have been trying to convey to friends and relatives for nigh-on 25 years without success. I tell them over and over, TANSTAAFL, and they say "But it's free! It says so!" And don't even get me started about my son, now 21, who still hasn't made the connection between all the pirated games he downloads (or is that "gamez he downloadz"?) and the rampant viruses constantly breaking his system.
It's not necessarily friends directly posting crap on your page. A lot of fraud/spam on Facebook comes from these pages set up specifically to attract followers so the page can be sold for huge advertising bucks. They'll post exploitative pictures of injured animals, maimed soldiers, etc. with captions like "1 SHARE = 1 RESPECT". No matter how often I've warned my friends against forwarding this stuff, they'll do exactly what they are told because they don't want to be accused of not caring about puppies or war heroes or orphans or Jesus or whatever.
The end result is, no matter how hard I try to avoid it and how careful I am to restrict my account only to friends and colleagues I personally know, I still get spam from these phony accounts plastered all over my news feed.
I have about the cheapest camera you can get, a Kodak® EasyShare® I got at Walmart® three or four years ago for maybe $40 (it was their Black Friday special). Sometimes the lens won't go in and out all the way because it got sand in it. And yet... there has never been any problem with the software. Delete random photos out of a bunch directly on the camera, no problem.
So... if a couple of folks on here say that deleting files has caused file system corruption and a couple of other folks have stated they never saw such problems, who's to say which viewpoint is more common? We'd need a slightly bigger sample size than 5 or 10 self-selected nerds before we could draw any larger scope conclusions from the bit of anecdotal evidence presented here from both sides.
As others have observed, it's not just about exercise; it's about diet too. The particular form that each takes doesn't matter as long as you do the math to make things balance out.
A typical adult male will burn ~2000 calories a day just sitting there staring into space (give or take a few hundred depending on age and weight). Now look at the calories of your favorite fast food and snacks and drinks -- a few hundred here, a few hundred there, and suddenly you're eating 4000 calories a day while still only burning 2000.
It takes 3500 calories to gain or lose a pound. If you eat 3500 calories more than you burn, you're up a pound. Eat 3500 calories fewer than you burn, you lose a pound. It's that simple. The hard part is counting calories when no nutritional information is available, and working out how many calories you actually burn for any given activity. The Compendium of Physical Activity is a great start if you want a more precise DIY formula tailored to your exact specifications, or there are any number of websites that will let you plug in your age and weight and amount of time at a standard activity, and spit out the calories burned. I keep mine on a spreadsheet, with the most frequently consumed foods in a quick table along with the most frequent physical activities. At the end of the day I get the difference between the two and know if I went overboard and need to starve myself for a couple of days, or if I can step on the scale with pride.
Now, a bunch of folks have recommended specific activities - run! go to the gym! ride a bike! Feh. *ANYTHING* you do that keeps your body moving so your heart rate goes up and you burn more calories than at rest is a good thing. Unless you're specifically targeting a muscle group for development, you will be equally successful whether you walk, run, do calisthenics, or have a marathon session of great sex with a gymnast. Personally I avoid running; my older brother ran religiously for 30 years and now his knees and ankles are completely shot and useless. It takes longer walking 3-4 miles and hour to burn the same calories you would running, but your body will thank you in 20 years for the lower-impact activities.
On the diet side, don't feel like you are doomed to never eat a pizza again. It's all in the math. When I can't stand going another day without ice cream or pizza, I have a serving or two and damn the calories. Then I just eat much lighter (all vegetables instead of meat and starches) for a couple of days to pay back for those extra calories, and/or do another 2-mile walk (250 calories).
Did it work? See for yourself. In August 2009 I was over 260 pounds. I started walking -- just a block or two and I was winded and in pain -- and watching my calories, and by July 2010 I was down to 160. That was actually too extreme; I gained 30 of that back and I no longer look so skeletal. But I can walk 2 miles without stopping to rest, and 4 miles with resting. That may not sound like much to people who still go snowboarding and have marathon sessions of great sex with gymnasts, but for me it's literally the difference between life and death.
This is no different than joyriding the fire trucks. The system is there for emergencies, and crap like this devalues it's emergency status.
I actually agree with you, but unfortunately my inner Responsible Adult who deplores this act for exactly the reasons you cite is having a loud argument right now with my inner child who is laughing his head off. I'm still not sure who is winning.
While we were not required to do anything but announce our intention to homeschool and provide (without requiring approval) our curriculum for the year, we did give our homeschooled kids the Stanford Achievement Test each year. Not for any reporting requirements, but to see where we were failing as teachers.
The result? Daughter got a full ride scholarship, and son got about half his tuition paid by scholarship. Of course neither one of them has any friends or knows how to have a conversation or play games because it never occurred to us to socialize them under any circumstances. I kid! They've both done much better socially than I ever did, even given the handicap of inheriting my F&SF/gaming/comics/Monty Python genes.
Belial6, it's worth noting that standardized testing may not be required in YOUR state, but the laws vary wildly from state to state. Some places the rules are so strict you might as well not bother homeschooling for all the freedom you have to shape your child's academic plan; others (like Wyoming where we live) are extremely laissez-faire.
I think I'm gonna go back through the last 18 years of school projects and LEGO models, and copyright them all in my name.
Before Wordstar, there was Electric Pencil. I also compared Apple Writer II vs. Wordstar for a technical presentation in some college class in 1982; I declared at the time that Apple Writer was far and away the most advanced and user-friendly WP on the market.
I find it amusing that some 30 years later, some of the old Wordstar keyboard shortcuts are still used in some programs today -- notably alt-X, ctrl-Y, and F1 still do essentially the same things they did in Wordstar.
I think someone else mentioned Colossal Cave, and yes indeedy -- CC begat Zork which begat the rest of Infocom's amazing library, which I still play from time to time today. My 20-something daughter just the other day complained about the difficulty of getting the babel fish in your ear! Tell me, Microsoft, what games of YOURS are still being played 20 to 30 years later?>