details for the curious - I'd been playing with lasering this icing earlier and it was so hard to get a good etch. kind of drove what message I'd shoot for.
wish I'd had an up close video to record the nasty looking burning and oozing. the parameters I used - too complicated to report and I used many rounds, some on just one or two letters while I tried to figure out just what interesting effects I could pull out of this misbehavin' mess.
above is a closeup of said cake at an earlier time.
you can see at the very upper left of the cake is a light indentation with another indentation to the right, a bit cut off. then the blasted browner one in the forefront. these are my trials as I increased the heat.
the artwork was vector and raster based, with a black filled circle on the inside surrounded by a vector circle a bit larger. the heat settings for this outer vector circle were too cool during the earlier trials but you can see it was getting pretty messy in the hotter forefront one. we laughed watching the melting, bubbling and pushing! I wonder how much heat it takes to splash icing onto the laser cover.
not sure you could handle what you might see as an epidemiologist? just try lasering white cake icing for a while.
earlier that day, I taught a laser class and had a friend attending. afterward, we wandered through the grocery store to get this white cake. he remarked, "now I'm walking through this place wondering what everything would look like lased." ahhh ... another kindred soul.